Two Cowenian Tenure Claims
By Bryan Caplan
Tyler has chimed in on tenure with a bizarre dadaism and a serious challenge:
To put it bluntly, the tenure system works because for many people their “output” doesn’t matter in the first place; tenure is however wonderful for the stars.
Right… Tenure is “wonderful” because it infinitesimally raises the job security of the stars, and sharply raises the job security of people who don’t produce anything of value anyway.
For-profit universities, which typically don’t have tenure, have failed to take over the sector, once again showing there is usually competition between different organizational forms.
My reply: Non-profits are heavily subsidized by both governments and private donors. This hardly shows that non-profits are more efficient than for-profits in any non-trivial sense.
P.S. Tyler and a co-author have a whole paper on “Why are Most Universities Not for Profit?,” (abstract viewable, paper unavailable) but I think they hastily dismiss the obvious explanation.