College Costs Continue to Climb


Students Protest Student Debt

There has been a lot of talk about rising costs of education. Many folks seem to believe that the answer to this issue is to increase education subsidies either through increased grants or federal loan programs. But what if the current trend in cost already reflects over-demand and misallocation of resources? Here are some interesting links on the subject:

Alex Tabarrok argues here that college has been oversold and subsidies misdirected toward fields that do not produce the positive spillovers that justify them.

Gary Becker and Richard Posner argue that colleges have misaligned incentives which contribute to higher costs and under-investment in basic research.

Stephen Joel Trachtenberg argues here that the university model has shifted from investment in education to consumption of secondary services and amenities which lead to bloated administrations and a reduced emphasis on teaching: “Think of the irony. The dean says to a desirable candidate, ‘We really want you to come join us. You’ll hardly have to teach a class!’ What a message.”

Several of the authors note the deleterious effect of reliance on college rankings. You may recall the Malcolm Gladwell New Yorker article on the utterly vacuous nature of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges” guide.

Here also is a neat little video that addresses some of these points while emphasizing the demand-driven aspect of rising tuitions:




One thought on “College Costs Continue to Climb

  1. Pingback: Law School Bubble: Follow the Money | Economics & Institutions

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