Educación y señales: un error?

En su página, a Bryan Caplan le dan duro por creer que la educación universitaria tiene como principal objetivo la emisión de señales costosas para filtrar la calidad de los alumnos. El contradictor de Caplan señala que de ser así, sería un mecanismo ineficiente, ya que es fácil pensar en otras formas de filtrar las personas. Concluye que gran parte de la educación debe tener un contenido efectivo. Un ejemplo de sus argumentos, que son convincentes:

In your reply you stated that education’s value added was maybe 20% of the private returns to education. Does this mean that you think fully 80% of the value of time and other resources spent on education are wasted? Wow! Given how much we spend on education and how much time we spend in school that is an enormous inefficiency! How is that possible? The strongest argument for either of the two positions I’m defending is that if there was a much more efficient way to do whatever it is that education does, somewhere some society would have found it and we would all be trying to copy them. Here in the US we’ve now had at least 50 to 100+ years of experience with mass education and we haven’t been able to find a better way? (I say 50 to 100+ since universal grammar school has been around much longer than cheap large scale higher education.) Not only are other countries not developing radically different models, they are sending their children to this country in droves for this supposedly useless education. Bryan, I hope you appreciate the irony here. In our first public debate you are taking the side of widespread market failure while I’m defending the ability of private ingenuity to work its way around whatever problems the world throws in its way – the reverse of our usual roles. I must say I’m enjoying being in this position because I normally grant that it is the person arguing against efficiency who has the burden of proof.

Su conclusión exige una retracción de Caplan:

So Bryan, ready to do some back tracking? I think you’ve got to at least admit that the educational system is a lot more efficient than you originally claimed. Otherwise I think you have gotten yourself out on a limb that won’t support the weight.

Gracias a Marginal Revolution.

Autor: variacioncompensada

Profesor, CEA-DII, U. de Chile.

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