"Mr. Caplan’s case against education begins by acknowledging the case in favor of getting one. “It is individually very fruitful, and individually lucrative,” he says. Full-time workers with a bachelor’s degree, on average, “are making 73% more than high-school graduates.” Workers who finished high school but not college earn 30% more than high-school dropouts. Part of the difference is mere correlation: Mr. Caplan says if you adjust for pre-existing advantages like intelligence and family background, one-fifth to two-fifths of the education premium goes away. Even so, it really does pay to finish school."
"“Why is it that employers would pay all of this extra money for you to go and study a bunch of subjects that they don’t actually need you to know?”
The answer is “signaling,” an economic concept Mr. Caplan explains with an analogy: “There’s two ways to raise the value of a diamond. One of them is, you get an expert gemsmith to cut the diamond perfectly, to make it a wonderful diamond.” That adds value by making the stone objectively better—like human capital in the education context. The other way: “You get a guy with an eyepiece to look at it and go, ‘Oh yeah, yeah, this is great—it’s wonderful, flawless.’ Then he puts a little sticker on it saying ‘triple-A diamond.’ ” That’s signaling. The jewel is the same, but it’s certified.
Suppose you have a bachelor’s in philosophy from Mr. Caplan’s doctoral alma mater, and you’re applying for a job somewhere other than a college philosophy department. What does the sheepskin signal? His answer is threefold: intelligence, work ethic and conformity. “Finishing a philosophy degree from Princeton—most people are not smart enough to do that,” he says. At the same time, “you could be very smart and still fail philosophy at Princeton, because you don’t put in the time and effort to go and pass your classes.”
As for conformity, Mr. Caplan puts the signal into words: “I understand what society expects of me. I’m willing to do it; I’m not going to complain about it; I’m just going to comply. I’m not going to sit around saying, ‘Why do we have to do this stuff? Can’t we do it some other way? I don’t feel like it!’ ” It’s easy to gainsay the value of conformity, a trait the spectacularly successful often lack. Think Mark Zuckerberg. But then imagine how he would have fared as a 21-year-old college dropout applying for an entry-level corporate job.
Mr. Caplan believes these signals are reliable, that college graduates generally do make better employees than nongraduates. Thus it is rational for employers to favor them, and for young people to go through school."
"Because educational signaling is zero-sum, and because its benefits tend to flow to those who were well-off to begin with, the system promotes inequality without creating much wealth. Research comparing the personal and the national payoffs of schooling finds a wide discrepancy—in “the ballpark of, if a year of school for an individual raises earnings about 10%, [then] if you go and raise the education of an entire country’s workforce by a year, it seems to only raise the income of the country by about 2%.” Mr. Caplan therefore reckons that roughly 80% of the education premium comes from signaling, only 20% from marketable skills."
Also see The Philadelphia Eagles' Personnel Strategy: Targeting College Grads: Six of the Seven Players the Team Drafted This Year Are on Track to Graduate by Kevin Clark of the WSJ. It seems like NFL teams see the college degree as a signal. Exceprt:
"Philadelphia's philosophy of pursuing graduates was born when Roseman, the Eagles' general manager since 2010, and Kelly, the team's second-year coach, each discovered that teams with the most college graduates are overwhelmingly successful. Kelly learned this late in his coaching tenure at Oregon, when former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy, whose son played at Oregon, mentioned in a talk to Oregon players that in the 2000s, the two teams who happened to have loads of graduates were the Colts and New England Patriots. Those teams dominated the first decade of this century.
"I didn't know he'd take it this far," Dungy said, jokingly.
In a private conversation later, Dungy, now an analyst for NBC, told Kelly that his research showed players with degrees were more likely to earn a second NFL contract and make more money. He told Kelly "the guys with degrees have what you are looking for. They are driven. If it's between two players, a degree might tip the scale. But at the time, I don't think he was even thinking of the NFL."
But before Kelly even arrived in Philadelphia, Roseman was doing his own research. Each year, Roseman and his lieutenants take the last four teams left in the playoffs and do reports on them—studying their players' height, weight, background and virtually everything else. Through those reports came evidence that the most successful teams had many college graduates on them. When Roseman and Kelly joined forces, the plan was clear.
The trends over the last five drafts are startling. Studies show that teams who select players who spent five years in college—and thus almost always have a degree—win big. Of the three teams with the most fifth-year seniors drafted, two of them met in February's Super Bowl: the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos. The Jacksonville Jaguars, who went 4-12, took the fewest.
The team that drafted the most players who stayed just three years on campus? The New York Giants, who have missed the playoffs the past two seasons. The Colts, Patriots and Washington Redskins, who have five total playoff appearances in the last two years, have taken the fewest three-year players, who rarely have college degrees.
Kelly said a degree is more than proof of intelligence. "It's also, what is their commitment?" he said. "They set goals out for themselves and can they follow through for it? A lot of people can tell you they want to do this, this and this. But look at their accomplishments."
The Eagles say they want players who are prepared, and a degree confirms that. Take wide receiver Jordan Matthews, a Vanderbilt economics major whose study habits translated perfectly to the NFL."
A fake job reference can be just a few clicks away.
Fake Economist Fools Portugal.
Slave Redemption in Sudan. (Fake slaves are sold to those who buy slaves and then give them their freedom)
Can A Product Work Just Because It's Expensive?. (fake medicine)
If It Pays To Have Friends, Can You Pay To Have Friends?. (you can hire fake boyfriends)
Study: Half of American Doctors Give Patients Placebos Without Telling Them.
Saudis grapple with fake street sweepers .
Rent a White Guy: Confessions of a fake businessman from Beijing (by Mitch Moxley in The Atlantic Monthly)
Can adding a phantom third story to their homes help families find a wife for their son?