Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Goldin-Katz Hypothesis

Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz (G&K), two Harvard professors again decry changes in Americans real incomes since 1973. "A sharp slowdown in educational attainment and high school graduation rates occurred for those born after 1950. College graduation rates began to slow and high school graduation rates hit a plateau. Once the world leader in high school graduation, the US has fallen in recent years to nearly the bottom of OECD nations; while it is still a leader in college attendence, college completion rates for recent cohorts are lagging other nations", 9 June 2009: at

"Even if the 'stimulus' package doesn't seem to be doing much to stimulate the economy, it is certainly stimulating many potential recipients of government money to start lining uop at the trough. All you need is something that sounds like a 'good thing' and the ability to sell the idea. A perennial 'good thing' is education. So it is not surprising that the leaders of the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities have come out with an assertion that 'the US should set a goal of college degrees for at least 55 percent of its young adults by 2025.' ... Apparently the implicit assumption is that education is a 'good thing' that it is always better to have more of. But, if that is the case, why 55 percent rather than 75 percent, 95 percent or 100 percent?", Thomas Sowell at Townhall, 24 June 2009, link:

I figure only two Harvard professors could write this piece and not mention the dreaded "I-word", IQ. Here's a link to my 1 September 2008 post, Are G&K owned by the "school teacher-expert-diversity consultant" complex (STEDC)? I could explain the data they see, but G&K would never accept my explanation. Is it possible that increased education spending caused a decrease in Americans real incomes? Impossible, heresy.

Yes, TS, why not 100%? The STEDCs never consider opportunity costs. I conclude, contra our Harvard professors, that too many Americans go to college now and the money they spend on it is a consumption expenditure, like buying candy bars.


Anonymous said...

Education as candy...

I can see it... sugary and empty of real content.

Anonymous said...

IA, you are an ignorant bigot on this issue. I read you for your reportage on financial issues.

IQ is heavily influenced by environment. The lower classes in the US have been dumped by society into a cycle of poverty and ignorance, as education at the early stages is locally funded. We are growing an underclass that would probably score 10 points higher on IQ tests if raised in households like yours and mine, and educated at good schools.

When one-third of students don't finish high school and are functionally illiterate and innumerate, we have an economic problem.

Blaming it on IQ is stupid.

Independent Accountant said...

You are entitled to your opinion. I don't share it and the evidence to the contrary is awesome. Calling me an "ignorant bigot" will not change my mind. Evidence will. Where is it? How "heavily" is heavily?
What do you know about my upbringing? Do you know I lived on the same street with "infamous" JHS 210 where the principal, George Goldfarb, supposedly killed himself in January 1958? This was national news in 1958. Coast-to-coast. Check it out. This was in majority black neighborhood. Really.
Which is cause and which is effect that 1/3 of these kids don't finish high school. I'm 5' 7" tall. I couldn't play in the NBA if my life depended on it. So?
True story. In 1958-60 my mother and I tutored neighborhood kids, all of which were Negro, as they were then known in reading. No charge. Many of them couldn't learn. Initially she saw the problem as the "look-say" reading method used in New York City at the time. My mother bought Rudolph Flesh's 1955 classic, "Why Johnny Can't Read". Using it, she taught me to read in four days. Really. That said, neither of us had similar success with the kids we tried to tutor. Were we racist? Do you deny what I saw and did? Call me a bigot if makes you feel morally superior to me. Now I want to see if you have the audacity to call me a LIAR. Go ahead. I dare you.
Yes, many kids are innumerate. Why? They went to the same schools I did. We sat in the same classrooms. Really.
Who are you anyway? What is your experience? What have you read? For starters: read Jensen's now classic 1969 Harvard Eduication Review article. When you're done with it, send me a e-mail report. When you're done I give you more to read.

Anonymous said...

I got your background wrong, but your story supports my case, that education matters to IQ. A simple Wiki will provide references--as your own experience should also testify.

made an incorrect assumption about your background, not calling you a liar, but a bigot, yes, when you talk as if IQ is immutable. You contradict yourself!

and what purpose does such harmful talk serve? none, unless you are trying to make some people feel bad about themselves, which has been shown to have an adverse effect on performace on IQ tests.

stick to promoting reform of education, lose the bigoty, would be my counsel.

thanks for telling your story.