March 21, 2013

MEGAN MCARDLE: Why Do Economists Urge College, But Not Marriage? “College improves your earning prospects. So does marriage. Education makes you more likely to live longer. So does marriage. Yet while many economist vocally support initiatives to move more people into college, very few of them vocally favor initiatives to get more people married. . . . Which makes me gravitate towards a more parsimonious explanation: all economists are, definitionally, very good at college. Not all economists are good at marriage. Saying that more people should go to college will make 0% of your colleagues feel bad. Saying that more people should get married and stay married will make a significant fraction of your colleagues feel bad. And in general, most people have an aversion to topics which are likely to trigger a personal grudge in a coworker.”