Friday, 25 April 2014
The World is awash with studies purporting to show that college degrees pay for themselves: that is, the cost of the degree is ultimately exceeded by the increased earnings of those gaining those qualifications. But there is a problem with most of such studies, as follows.
People who go to college or university tend to be from stable or middle class family backgrounds, and those sort of kids tend to end up earning more, even when they DON’T GET degrees.
Thus in order to prove the benefits of degrees, one has to control for family background: i.e. weed out the “stable family background” effect.
One fairly recent such study gets a write up in the Washington Post. I’ve word searched the study for words that indicate family background might have been controlled for and found nothing.
But never mind. Dean Baker manages to find about one article a day in the Washington Post which is hot air. So my discovery, if that’s what it is, is not original.