The Case Against Education: Why the Education System Is a Waste of Time and Money by Bryan Caplan

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The Case Against Education: Why the Education System Is a Waste of Time and Money Read Online Free - Despite being immensely popular--and immensely lucrative—education is grossly overrated. In this explosive book, Bryan Caplan argues that the primary function of education is not to enhance students' skill but to certify their intelligence, work ethic, and conformity—in other words, to signal the qualities of a good employee. Learn why students hunt for easy As and casually forget most of what they learn after the final exam, why decades of growing access to education have not resulted in better jobs for the average worker but instead in runaway credential inflation, how employers reward workers for costly schooling they rarely if ever use, and why cutting education spending is the best remedy.

Caplan draws on the latest social science to show how the labor market values grades over knowledge, and why the more education your rivals have, the more you need to impress employers. He explains why graduation is our society's top conformity signal, and why even the most useless degrees can certify employability. He advocates two major policy responses. The first is educational austerity. Government needs to sharply cut education funding to curb this wasteful rat race. The second is more vocational education, because practical skills are more socially valuable than teaching students how to outshine their peers.

Romantic notions about education being "good for the soul" must yield to careful research and common sense — The Case against Education points the way.

Title : The Case Against Education: Why the Education System Is a Waste of Time and Money
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0691174652
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 416 pages


Byrne rated it ★★★★★

January 23, 2018

Bryan Caplan’s new book has provoked a storm of criticism, from both laypeople and fellow economists. Fortunately, Caplan has taken the time to rebut his opponents, point-by-point. He put these rebuttals into a book called The Case Against Education, and I recommend his critics read it. Before I g...

Daniel rated it ★★★★★

January 25, 2018

Half way through this book I thought “ok I’m convinced, no need to go on about it”. By the time I finished it I felt as though every opinion I had on education had been reshaped. For instance, the other day I watched a YouTube video discussing how to use gamification to increase engagement in scho...

Don rated it ★★☆☆☆

January 17, 2018

I read it so you don't have to. Some useful information for the current debate topic, but it was hard to take this libertarian screed against education too seriously. And that was before I got to the chapter that calls for relaxed regulations on child labor.

Shawn rated it ★★★★★

March 09, 2018

Bryan Caplan’s new book is a devastating and depressing take down of the education system. Caplan argues that the education system does little to educate and that most of the gains we see from education are not linked to what students may learn. If he’s right, then most of the current education s...

Aayush rated it ★★★☆☆

February 05, 2018

The author makes some really strong points, with the necessary backup stats. This book, though dry at times, is a must read for everyone interested in education, or going through education. Though I may not agree with all the points, the book is a really informative read by an author who has done...

Max rated it ★★★★☆

February 25, 2018

Full review and highlights at There are two theories for why education is beneficial for individuals. The "human capital" model says that you go to school and learn valuable skills. The "signaling" model says that school is just a stamp of approval...

Daniel rated it ★★★★★

December 25, 2017

one of the most important policy books(/ideas) this century

Amy rated it ★★★★☆

February 27, 2018

I think Bryan’s argument is compelling, and definitely controversial. I agree that credential inflation has become widespread in society, and that part of education’s payoff comes from signaling. I even agree that our country probably spends too much subsidizing education. But I don’t know if I’d...

Ann rated it ★★★★☆

February 06, 2018

A provocative read that turns everything you ever thought about education upside-down. The author, an economist, monetizes and calculates cost benefits (it's dismaying to see the commodification of people). But also includes discussion of less pragmatic reasons why more education might be better,...

Stephanie rated it ★★★★☆

February 24, 2018

So right and so wrong. I was both validated and distressed by this book: validated because I agree that the value of school comes not from its usefulness but from the signals it sends, and distressed because I disagree with his interpretation of what those signals mean. Like Caplan, I believe our...

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