Writing on the Chronicle’s Innovations blog, Rich Vedder shows that when you compare nations that have high rates of college “attainment” with those having relatively low rates, you find that — contrary to what you’d expect from listening to the higher-ed establishment — economic growth is stronger in the latter.
That finding buttresses the argument Alison Wolf made in her book Does Education Matter? She concluded that a national emphasis on college completion was neither necessary nor sufficient for increasing national prosperity. People ought to stop thinking of higher education as a sound economic-development strategy. It isn’t.