Both are good for you. Only one is viewed as a proper aim of society.
College improves your earning prospects. So does marriage. Education makes you more likely to live longer. So does marriage. Yet while many economist vocally support initiatives to move more people into college, very few of them vocally favor initiatives to get more people married. Why is that, asks Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry? His answer:
Meanwhile, economists’ “cosmopolitan perspective” (as Cowen puts it) makes them not feel good at the idea of public policy that would interfere with personal choices (allowing for a second that getting married is a “personal choice” in a way that going to college isn’t). Most economists think that government should not interfere or have a stance one way or another with decisions that feel intimate to people. That is a complete value judgement. And it’s a completely defensible one.
But at the level of the economics profession, this leads to bias: much more ink is spilled on, and thought given to the college wage premium than the marriage wage premium. One is mostly praised and interpreted in a certain way, while the other is mostly ignored. And, of course, the thing that academic economics focuses on has an effect on elite debate and public policy, especially when the socially liberal, pro-higher ed biases of economists line up well with those of the rest of the elite.
Another reason suggested by McArdle is that economists have typically been very successful in college, but perhaps not so successful in marriage.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Banks wrote off $3 billion of student loan debt in the first two months of 2013, up more than 36 percent from the year-ago period, as many graduates remain jobless, underemployed or cash-strapped in a slow U.S. economic recovery, an Equifax study showed.
◊◊◊ The sequester happened and the sky didn’t fall.
Most universities will face only minimal effects from the automatic budget cuts that went into effect at the beginning of the month, according to a report released Thursday by Moody’s Investors Service. The report looked at the projected financial effect of the 5 percent cuts to domestic discretionary spending, known as sequestration, and found that only 1 percent of colleges and not-for-profits stood to lose more than 3 percent of their annual revenue as the result of the cuts.
Research universities were most likely to be hit hard by the cuts because federal funding for scientific research is one of the areas affected. While some financial aid programs — particularly federal work-study and the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant — will also be cut, the Pell Grant, bedrock of need-based financial aid programs, is safe for the 2013-14 academic year.
Fifteen percent of school-age boys have received an A.D.H.D. diagnosis, the data showed; the rate for girls was 7 percent. Diagnoses among those of high-school age — 14 to 17 — were particularly high, 10 percent for girls and 19 percent for boys. About one in 10 high-school boys currently takes A.D.H.D. medication, the data showed.
It makes me wonder if just “being a boy” is considered a disease. Schools, pressure to succeed in academics and the pharmaceutical industry are all getting blamed for what may be an over-diagnosis problem.