If Harvard University has information to sell, why don’t other countries build more Harvard Universities?

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com, or follow me on Twitter.

Now that we have the Internet, information is abundant. So if something like Harvard is scarce, I think it must be selling something scarce, such as prestige, rather than information. I don’t think this last paragraph can be justified:

But after 1980 America began to lose the race between education and technology.

The expansion of American higher education slowed massively. Higher education for native-born males simply froze in its tracks. As a result, in the world in which we have worked for the past 35 years employers have been betting up the relative price of college graduates: Rather than making 30% more than our counterparts who went straight into the job market after high school did, we have on average received double.

The freezing and of the relative numbers of native born American males taking advantage of hire education as demand, supply, and heterogeneity components.

…How important is all this? I would say that about 1/3 of the problem is with America that have developed over the past 35 years–1/3 of the ways in which I see America today falling far short of what I confidently helped America would be by now–are due to our losing the race between education and technology.

Let me make one final point: Over the past generation, Harvard has not helped. We had 1600 in our class. Last week’s graduating class was essentially the same size. Worldwide, between five and ten times as many people are well-qualified to join my niece as freshmen this fall. In our class there were perhaps four times as many people well-qualified to attend as Harvard admitted. Today there are between twenty and forty. Yet Presidents Bok, Pusey, and Rudenstine seemed to have little interest in helping America and the world in the race between education and technology. Contrast that with the University of California, which, under Chancellor and President Clark Kerr and California Governor Pat Brown, set in motion the plan to clone itself across the state and increase enrollment tenfold.

Post external references

  1. 1