This essay by Harvard president Drew Gilpin Faust is drawing quite a bit of criticism.
I’m not sure WHICH academics in WHICH department she is calling upon to supply shallow moralizing and bad economics...Felix Salmon:
I don’t mean to pick on the Harvard President in particular, many heavyweight figures are dispensing sophomoric rhetoric ever since the crisis made it open season on economics. I'm just following her counsel to supply some inconvenient doubt about the social value of such rhetoric.
This is the kind of lying-with-statistics which academics should be debunking, not propagating. If you want to know what the rewards are of going to college, you need to compare the lifetime earnings of people who went to college with those who could have gone to college but didn’t. It’s trivially true that the kind of people who go to college will earn more than the kind of people who don’t. What’s interesting is whether the kind of people who can go to college benefit financially from doing so.Kevin Carey:
Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t Harvard indulge the bubble of false prosperity as much as anyone, with various catastrophic results? … And if that’s the case, what are you going to do about it? It’s not like someone else is in a better position to fix these problems.