Bryan Caplan – The Case Against Education

Bryan Caplan – The Case Against Education

Or rather, against more formal classroom schooling than necessary. The title is a misnomer; in a way this book is a data-backed confirmation of Mark Twain’s quip about the difference between schooling and education.

Once students get past basic math and literacy, most of what they learn in the classroom, whether history or calculus, is useless in most jobs and unused in most lives. College degrees are less about building human capital and more about signaling—a credential certifying a certain amount of intelligence, work ethic, and conformity.

Tamping back on signaling-only degrees would reduce “credential inflation” and spare millions of people from crippling debt and hundreds of hours of drudgery. At the same time, Caplan, who deeply values education, encourages opening the life of the mind in other, higher-quality ways—good conversation, books on interesting subjects, movies, culture, online courses, travel, and more.


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