Chinese Lessons

by George Leef

In his last book, How China Became Capitalist, Ronald Coase examined the changes that China has undergone over the last several decades. Some of his analysis pertains to higher education.

In today’s Pope Center Clarion Call, Jane Shaw comments on the Chinese higher-ed experience. The takeaway is that while the Chinese mostly got it right with respect to economic reforms (allowing firms to begin and grow in an unplanned, spontaneous-order sort of way), they have continued to run their universities on a central-planning model. As a result, the Chinese now have a huge glut of college graduates with no jobs or jobs that call for no particular education, and they also waste resources by paying professors to create lots and lots of research publications of dubious value — much as we do.