Compulsory Cultural Exchange?
By Arnold Kling
In this essay, I propose a compulsory cultural exchange to try to improve national cohesiveness.
With a cultural exchange program of this sort, the children of the liberal elites could experience first-hand the urban public schools which their parents believe must be protected from competition at all costs. Children raised by nannies could see how the child-care workers themselves live.
Along the way, I suggest an explanation for the high cost of college.
the mysterious high cost of college education may be the result of a “segregation equilibrium.” That is, if wealthy parents want their children to be segregated from middle-class children, then wealthy parents will prefer schools with higher tuition. If professors also prefer to teach children of wealthy parents, then the equilibrium is likely to be one in which costs and tuitions at the top institutions are high.
For Discussion. This hypothesis implies a sort of upward-sloping demand curve in higher education–rich people who want to send their children to schools with other rich people will prefer higher-priced colleges. Is this plausible? Suppose that the same phenomenon were to occur in a fully-privatized voucher system. What might be done about it? Would price controls make sense in a segregation equilibrium?