Cover image for The case against education : why the education system is a waste of time and money
Title:
The case against education : why the education system is a waste of time and money
ISBN:
9780691174655
Publication Information:
Princeton, New Jersey : Princeton University Press, [2018]
Physical Description:
xiv, 395 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Contents:
Introduction -- The magic of education -- The puzzle is real : the ubiquity of useless education -- The puzzle is real : the handsome rewards of useless education -- The signs of signaling : in case you're still not convinced -- Who cares if it's signaling? : the selfish return to education -- We care if it's signaling : the social return to education -- The white elephant in the room : we need lots less education -- 1 > 0 : we need more vocational education -- Nourishing mother : is education good for the soul? -- Five chats on education and enlightenment -- Conclusion.
Summary:
"Despite being immensely popular--and immensely lucrative--education is grossly overrated. In this explosive book, Bryan Caplan argues that the primary function of education is not to enhance students' skill but to certify their intelligence, work ethic, and conformity--in other words, to signal the qualities of a good employee. Learn why students hunt for easy As and casually forget most of what they learn after the final exam, why decades of growing access to education have not resulted in better jobs for the average worker but instead in runaway credential inflation, how employers reward workers for costly schooling they rarely if ever use, and why cutting education spending is the best remedy. Caplan draws on the latest social science to show how the labor market values grades over knowledge, and why the more education your rivals have, the more you need to impress employers. He explains why graduation is our society's top conformity signal, and why even the most useless degrees can certify employability. He advocates two major policy responses. The first is educational austerity. Government needs to sharply cut education funding to curb this wasteful rat race. The second is more vocational education, because practical skills are more socially valuable than teaching students how to outshine their peers. Romantic notions about education being "good for the soul" must yield to careful research and common sense--The Case against Education points the way."--Jacket.
Electronic Access:
e-book
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Book 371.01 Capla
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Book 371.01 Capla
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Summary

Summary

Why we need to stop wasting public funds on education

Despite being immensely popular--and immensely lucrative--education is grossly overrated. In this explosive book, Bryan Caplan argues that the primary function of education is not to enhance students' skill but to certify their intelligence, work ethic, and conformity--in other words, to signal the qualities of a good employee. Learn why students hunt for easy As and casually forget most of what they learn after the final exam, why decades of growing access to education have not resulted in better jobs for the average worker but instead in runaway credential inflation, how employers reward workers for costly schooling they rarely if ever use, and why cutting education spending is the best remedy.

Caplan draws on the latest social science to show how the labor market values grades over knowledge, and why the more education your rivals have, the more you need to impress employers. He explains why graduation is our society's top conformity signal, and why even the most useless degrees can certify employability. He advocates two major policy responses. The first is educational austerity. Government needs to sharply cut education funding to curb this wasteful rat race. The second is more vocational education, because practical skills are more socially valuable than teaching students how to outshine their peers.

Romantic notions about education being "good for the soul" must yield to careful research and common sense-- The Case against Education points the way.


Author Notes

Bryan Caplan is professor of economics at George Mason University and a blogger at EconLog . He is the author of Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids: Why Being a Great Parent Is Less Work and More Fun than You Think and The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies (Princeton). He lives in Oakton, Virginia.


Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsp. ix
List of Tablesp. xi
Prefacep. xiii
Introductionp. 1
Chapter 1 The Magic of Educationp. 9
Chapter 2 The Puzzle Is Real: The Ubiquity of Useless Educationp. 31
Chapter 3 The Puzzle Is Real: The Handsome Rewards of Useless Educationp. 69
Chapter 4 The Signs of Signaling: In Case You're Still Not Convincedp. 96
Chapter 5 Who Cares If It's Signaling? The Selfish Return to Educationp. 124
Chapter 6 We Care If It's Signaling: The Social Return to Educationp. 165
Chapter 7 The White Elephant in the Room: We Need Lots Less Educationp. 195
Chapter 8 1 > 0: We Need More Vocational Educationp. 225
Chapter 9 Nourishing Mother: Is Education Good for the Soul?p. 238
Chapter 10 Five Chats on Education and Enlightenmentp. 262
Conclusionp. 285
Technical Appendix: Completion Probability and Student Qualityp. 291
Notesp. 295
Referencesp. 337
Indexp. 381