Gene Expression On Charles Murray: Does College Really Pay Off?

Full post here which is a response to this NY Times interview.

This analysis suggests that yes, it does:

“…educational degrees, whether they confer skills or credentials, are more important to income than IQ when minimum thresholds are met.”


“People with average and below average IQs are getting just as much of a financial return out of their 4-year degree as those above the 85th percentile. This suggests many more people of marginal ability should be seeking a Bachelor’s degree, not less.”

So, Murray’s argment for more vocational and apprenticeship education having greater value than a college degree may not be valid. 

However, I still like Murray’s idea that there is a kind of top-heavy credentialization going on; more people are placing more value on a degree (with more externalized incentives?).   Moral relativism and excessive equality-seeking have had real consequences.

Yet, many of Murray’s arguments are based on the idea that we’ve gotten away from core principles that could serve us well…and this analysis is partially motivated by libertarian politics and a certain political philosophy.

Are Murray’s ideas deep enough to encompass some of the longer-lasting problems of education?

Related On This Site:  In looking at his articles, some of his claims seem rhetorical, designed to focus attention on a potential problem:  Charles Murray In The WSJ: For Most People, College Is A Waste Of TimeCharles Murray In The New Criterion: The Age Of Educational RomanticismCharles Murray On The SAT Test: Abolish It

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