Over at Cato Unbound, I praise Murray for highlighting the fact that many “investments” in education end in foreclosure – also known as “dropping out”:

[L]abor economists normally estimate the return to completed education.  It only takes a small drop-out rate to drastically reduce the expected return of trying to complete a year of school
If the rate of return for a completed year of education is 10%, but 6%
of students who start a year don’t finish (and waste a year of their
lives plus tuition), the expected rate of return is only 3.4%!  If
the marginal student is less likely to finish than the average student,
the effect is even more drastic.

I conclude:

Murray’s critics can’t dismiss him merely by waving around standard
estimates of the return to education.  One of Murray’s main points is
that for many students, the “standard” return is just a honey trap.

My point seems too obvious for labor economists who estimate the return to education to have overlooked.  But they’ve missed the obvious before