Bryan Caplan  

The Quotable Kling

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College Customers vs. Supplier... Au Contraire...

Arnold quiped:

"[H]igher education is the only product where the consumer tries to get as little out of it as possible."

If I wind up writing a book on education, that quote will be very prominently displayed! I can't think of a better one-liner for the signaling model of education.


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COMMENTS (9 to date)
Matthew Cromer writes:

Yes, great line :-)

Dunce writes:

Oh Really?
So Kling has discovered that the laws of economics do not apply?

The consumer wants what?
Knowledge or a Degree?
Answer? Degree
and From an appropriately Strong Brand Name school.

So how much should they pay for this? As little as possible?
meaning:
get grants
get scholarships
do enough but NOT TOO MUCH work.
Get Degree

Mr. Kling lets us know he attended Swarthmore and was in the top-1/3 Honors program. and MIT.
But when does he talk about his great LEARNING experiences at college?

Dezakin writes:

So when I went to a community collage to learn math because I was genuinely interested in it when it wasn't required for my degree, and computer programming classes to aquire the knowledge for my career, I failed to fit the stereotypes that are being presented here.

None of my employers looked at my degree, but instead at the knowledge. Perhaps I'm in an odd industry.

Dunce writes:

Dezakin wrote:

went to a community collage to learn math because I was genuinely interested in it

Generally true for anybody. If INTERESTED in the subject they dig in and learn more.

What kind of test did your employer use to confirm your abilites?

Andres I writes:

The thing is, you actually get nothing from High School Education that you have not to work for. It's not a ready-to-serve thing or service, so the logic of the typical student ("minimum effort law" is the expression we use in Chile) makes a lot of economic sense. Mr Kling has stated it perfectly.

Dezakin writes:

"What kind of test did your employer use to confirm your abilites?"

6-8 hour interview loops are standard in software.

Or as Dwight Lee used to say: If a student is buying a six-pack of beer and the store decides to give him an extra bottle for free, he's overjoyed. But if he's sitting in a lecture hall and the instructor decides to go on for an extra five minutes, he's outraged.

Tim da Silva writes:

There is an old Army saying " If the minimum isnt't good enough it wouldn't be the minimum". There has to be incentives to increase the propensity that one will try harder than what is seen as necessary.

Kyle Mathews writes:

I am in college and I can report that the hunt for the easy A is alive and well. Many students will sign up for several sections of a class, attend all of them and look at the syllabus and then attened the one with the easiest requirements.

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