Bet for Arnold: Education Is Stably Wasteful
By Bryan Caplan
I see the potential for a dramatic reduction in the labor intensity of
teaching. I think we are at a point in education that reminds of what
the Web felt like in 1994. A lot of excitement is coming, and change
will sweep through faster than most people expect. Traditional
colleges seem poised to be the Borders Books of the next round of
I’ll happily bet against this. I think this innovation, though admirable, is basically consumption. It doesn’t send a good signal, and employers won’t reward it. Students who want good jobs will correctly consider “the next round of technological change” a distraction.
Arnold, would you care to bet that the number of full-time faculty of traditional 4-year colleges will decline by more than 10% by 2022? Something else?
If you’re interested in principle I’ll track down a canonical measure.