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March 19, 2014

An anecdote supporting the education-as-signaling model

Megan McArdle:

When I was starting at the University of Chicago, back in 1999, one of the career-counseling people said something I’ve never forgotten: "We could put you guys on a cruise ship for the next two years, and you’d still get the same jobs."

She was stating, in a rather funny way, something almost everyone knows: Most of the economic value of an MBA from an elite business school comes from demonstrating that you can get into an elite business school. The rest comes from the classmates you meet, networking and project experience you get. Something close to zero percent of the value comes from your classwork. 

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ErisGuy

And that is difference between the social sciences and the real sciences.

It’s not about wisdom, it’s not about knowledge, it’s not about education. It’s about connections. And nothing else. Which is why it is always just to overthrow one’s rulers. There is no science to governing. Rulers know nothing but each other. Competence at ruling is a Potemkin Village.

Ted Craig

A Wharton professor told me many of his grad students were worse than his undergrads. He said they've experienced the real world and they didn't like it. So they go back to school and party, knowing that Wharton will never release their grades. Major corporations would probably be shocked by how many C students they're hiring from the "elite" schools.

Patrick R. Sullivan

George Stigler once said that it didn't much matter where you went to get your first degree, as there were good teachers everywhere. But, in grad school the students learn more from each other than from their teachers. That's why it matters so much where you get your graduate training.

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