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The Political Economy of Social Desirability Bias

Summary:
Last week, I visited the University of Freiburg for a conference on behavioral political economy.  My presentation: "The Political Economy of Social Desirability Bias: The Case of Education."  The first half, which summarizes The Case Against Education, will already be familiar to most EconLog readers.  The second half, however, should seem new.  I blend psychology and public choice to explain why education is almost universally politically popular despite the bountiful evidence in favor of the signaling model.  Simple version: For all its faults, education simply sounds good.My slides are here.  Enjoy!P.S. Alex Tabarrok presented a stand-out talk on what's wrong with India.  If anyone is going to fix

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Last week, I visited the University of Freiburg for a conference on behavioral political economy.  My presentation: "The Political Economy of Social Desirability Bias: The Case of Education."  The first half, which summarizes The Case Against Education, will already be familiar to most EconLog readers.  The second half, however, should seem new.  I blend psychology and public choice to explain why education is almost universally politically popular despite the bountiful evidence in favor of the signaling model.  Simple version: For all its faults, education simply sounds good.

My slides are here.  Enjoy!

P.S. Alex Tabarrok presented a stand-out talk on what's wrong with India.  If anyone is going to fix India, it will be him...



Bryan Caplan
Bryan Caplan is Professor of Economics at George Mason University and Senior Scholar at the Mercatus Center. He has published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the American Economic Review, the Economic Journal, the Journal of Law and Economics, and Intelligence, and has appeared on 20/20, FoxNews, and C-SPAN. Bryan Caplan blogs on EconLog.

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