Of more than 100 students who had scored a 5 on the A.P. exam, 90 percent failed the Dartmouth test. The other 10 percent were given Dartmouth credit.
Starting in 1990, colleges could anticipate annual increases in students completing high school. But after a peak of 3.4 million graduates in 2011, the trend line flattened out. By 2013-14, Wiche projects, the number of high-school graduates will stabilize, between 3.2 million and 3.3 million, until the next phase of sustained growth, from 2020-21 to 2026-27.
Over the last two decades, Ms. Wellman said, colleges have used competitive financial-aid strategies “to ratchet up their gene pool, to become more and more selective, because they could.” She described a future in which colleges must rein in those habits, for they will confront an even greater tension between meeting the bottom line and serving the social good.
Moving to more affluent neighborhoods would surround children with more educated adult role models, stronger educational values, and better community resources. The children would benefit from higher-quality schools and the peer influences of high-achieving classmates. We would be sure to see improvement in their academic performance. Right? Maybe. Research has in fact found surprisingly little convincing evidence that neighborhoods play a key role in children’s educational success.
- Jared Bernstein
- Dylan Matthews
- Adam Davidson
“Inequality has risen almost everywhere, which, Levy says, means that Autor is right that inequality is not just a result of American-government decisions. But the fact that inequality has risen unusually quickly in the United States suggests that government does have an impact. Still, economists certainly cannot tell us which policy is the right one.“
- Larry MishelA better candidate to explain the behavior of the 50/10 wage gap is the minimum wage, whose value dramatically eroded (to where it was hardly binding by 1987–88) over precisely the period that the 50/10 wage gap grew sharply and affected women far more so than men. In fact, the wage chapter of The State of Working America draws on the research of Autor and two co-authors to show that: (1) 66 percent of the 25.2 percentage-point (in logs) growth of the 50/10 wage gap among women from 1979 to 2009 can be explained by the change in the minimum wage; and, (2) 57 percent of the 11.4 percentage-point (in logs) growth of the 50/10 wage gap from 1979 to 2009 among all workers can be explained by the minimum wage. Another key factor has been unemployment. State of Working America also updated some research by Alan Krueger and Lawrence Katz (from 1999), showing that high unemployment disproportionately hurts low-wage workers more than middle-wage workers and more so for men than women. In our view, unemployment is another key factor explaining trends in the 50/10 wage gap over the last three decades, especially the excessive unemployment in the early 1980s, which subsided by 1987-88, and the sharp drop in unemployment in the late 1990s.
David Brooks has sort of jumped on the online education bandwagon.
This week, Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology committed $60 million to offer free online courses from both universities. Two Stanford professors, Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller, have formed a company,Coursera, which offers interactive courses in the humanities, social sciences, mathematics and engineering. Their partners include Stanford, Michigan, Penn and Princeton. Many other elite universities, including Yale and Carnegie Mellon, are moving aggressively online. President John Hennessy of Stanford summed up the emerging view in an article by Ken Auletta in The New Yorker, “There’s a tsunami coming.”
He details some exciting things happening with the MITx project. I am also excited at these prospects, but think there’s a lot of exaggerating going on about their benefits. The main problem with higher education right now is not access; it’s productivity and low graduation rates. It’s unclear how these online projects would address either of these problems. Certainly, it’s going to be nice for institutions to have these resources available, and there are going to be a particular group of students that are going to be able to use things like MITx, the Khan Academy, etc. for their benefit. But, in my view, these resources will be more like public libraries than higher education institutions.
As Will Hunting said, “You dropped a 150 grand on an education that you could have gotten with a$1.50 worth of late charges at the public library.” That’s true, but only if you’re fucking Will Hunting. Today’s marginal student needs somebody holding their hand, giving them advice, helping them navigate higher ed institutions and make good decisions. They need paternalism, and I don’t at this point see how online education is going to help them with that. I could be wrong, but I’m skeptical.
That said, just as I think public libraries have been a great resource through the 20th century, I am sure the resources being developed will contribute to the public good as well. And it’s great that they are, for the most part, being privately financed. Yay rich people!
Greece is a country of 11 million people. Geographically, it’s about the size of Louisiana. It doesn’t control its own currency, and its government spent years lying about its fiscal condition. After it joined the euro area in 2001, Greece went from paying about 7 percent interest on a 10-year bond to a bit more than 3 percent because investors assumed that its debt was backed by Germany and the European Central Bank…
The United States, by contrast, is a country of 313 million. It controls its own currency, which is also the global reserve currency. The U.S. Treasury bond is the safest of safe assets. Even after a lengthy financial crisis, the World Economic Forum ranks the United States as the fifth most competitive economy in the world, and it’s bigger than the first four combined. Whatever the United States is, it’s not Greece.
That’s from Ezra Klein, debunking one of the most common myths propagated by the right, often used to justify the argument we should rein in deficits now.
Disputes in economics used to be bounded by a shared understanding of the evidence, creating a broad range of agreement about economic policy. To take the most prominent example, Milton Friedman may have opposed fiscal activism, but he very much supported monetary activism to fight deep economic slumps, to an extent that would have put him well to the left of center in many current debates.
Now, however, the Republican Party is dominated by doctrines formerly on the political fringe. Friedman called for monetary flexibility; today, much of the G.O.P. is fanatically devoted to the gold standard. N. Gregory Mankiw of Harvard University, a Romney economic adviser, once dismissed those claiming that tax cuts pay for themselves as “charlatans and cranks”; today, that notion is very close to being official Republican doctrine.
That’s from that radical socialist Paul Krugman.
I’m reading Krugman’s new book, End This Depression Now. So far, there aren’t really any new ideas, but the book provides a good summary of lots of ideas and provides a framework for how they all fit together. One of these is the rejection of the view that we should only care about the long run — so it’s fruitless to enact any measures that would curb short-run suffering. Yglesias has some good sentences on this today:
“I think that what draws people into Rajan’s trap is an excessive tendency to associate “focus on long-term sustainable growth” with the ideas that they happen to favor. This models political disagreement as one in which there’s an unquivocal “long-term sustainable growth” agenda that some politicians are failing to implement out of either cowardice or else a belief that some priority other than “long-term sustainable growth” is more important at the moment. Under the circumstances, raising the status of “long-term sustainable growth” as a priority relative to fixing mass unemployment starts to look like a clever rhetorical strategy. The cure is to remind yourself that there’s profound and perfectly sincere disagreement about what a long-term sustainable growth agenda looks like. In particular, if you’re a University of Chicago economist you should remind yourself that a great many intelligent people believe a long-term sustainable growth agenda consist of large-scale public expenditures on clean electricity generation, high-speed rail, and universial preschool, a much greater government role in the health care sector, and increased subsidization of public colleges, all financed in large part by sharply higher marginal tax rates on high-income individuals.”
That gets the sociology basically right. But the bigger point is that, to some extent, long-run growth depends of the sort of things we’re doing right now. Krugman makes this point in several ways. First, when you’ve got potentially productive workers that long-term unemployed, they lose skills or drop out of the workforce altogether, so the economy’s productive capacity drops. The same sort of thing happens to college grads who are underemployed: their productive potential goes from high skill to low skill. Second, business investment drops when demand is low, so businesses aren’t increasing their productive capacity. Third, cutting public services, like education and infrastructure spending negatively affects long-run growth.
I’m a big fan of this website in terms of increasing my life satisfaction or self improvement. Chrissy and I are moving soon, so I recently started to get rid of a lot of our belongings that we don’t need or use. Basically, the strategy is to divide things into metaphorical buckets: Keep, Sell, Donate, Throw out, Unsure. I’ve moved about 25 times in my life (too many to be sure that’s the right number) and I hate it every time. But the worst part about moving is spending time transferring things you don’t use that you’ve kept in storage all year to a new place to store them. Having only the essential things that you really take advantage of and make your life better really takes a lot of weight off your shoulders.
One example is books. We’re selling basically all of our books. Chrissy has an iPad and I have a Kindle, so we really don’t need to store hundreds of pounds of books in our apartment, and move them once every year or two. One of the best uses of space is emptiness.
Among other things, we’ve sold our desktop computer, printer, surround sound system, iPod docks, bike pump (of which we had two, and my car, which I replaced with a Capital Bikeshare and Zipcar memberships. What a relief! There’s something about the freedom of not having a car in an urban area. It forces you to walk, bike, or take public transportation. You spend less time sitting and more time reading. You spend less time each day stressed out from being in traffic. I liked driving in the midwest to some extent; there is plenty of joy in riding around, looking at scenery, listening to your favorite songs play loudly through the stereo system. But the costs involved in driving are enormous, for me anyway.