Friday, March 11, 2016

Is Education Signaling or Skill Building?

This is an interesting debate between Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok, However, the discussion should have recognized the difference in various types of degrees and other factors.

Certainly. someone with, say, an engineering degree or accounting degree has obtained a degree that is job skill building. A degree in comparative literature not so much for the job market.

I would even argue that some degrees provide negative signals. A student who has a degree in social justice may signal a person who is a social justice warrior that employers may want to avoid.

Finally, I would like to know how Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard fit into the Cowen and Tabarrok models of skill building and signaling as the determinants for job success. Mises never had a paying job in academia, in Austria or the US and Rothbard was always on the far edges of academia.


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