Wednesday, November 02, 2011
An Economist Critiques the Humanities
Alex Tabarrok of Marginal Revolution recently blogged about the increase in the number of students with humanities degrees and the lack of growth in the number of students with STEM (sciences, technology, engineering, and math) degrees. As a lover of the arts and letters, it's hard to fault students for pursuing degrees in the humanities, but it's hard to argue with the evidence that students pay a price for pursuing degrees in these less marketable fields. Tabarrok further argues that the government is wasting its money by subsidizing degrees in disciplines with fewer positive externalities for the economy. Another factor is the increasing costs of higher education, which do not appear to be producing increasing gains (either economic or in terms of personal growth and development).