Sunday, December 04, 2005

Where are the Missing Men?

They're in college, according to an analysis at Girl in the Locker Room.

The theme that men aren't going to college has seemed a bit suspicious to me all along. Assuming Girl's reporting is accurate, more men and women are going to college than ever before, both in absolute terms and as a percentage of the college-aged. It's just that women have really increased their percentage of attendance, wherewas men have only somewhat increased it.

This is exactly the same argument that I tend to use in fighting with economically illiterate leftists - it doesn't matter that Group A's income is growing faster than Group B's, if both A and B are both making real improvements. Envy is stupid; equity is unattainable; improvement is the real metric.

(H/T Instapundit.)

2 comments:

dude49 said...

The original article suggests:


the key in the late 20th century to energizing half of the American workforce to meet the information age


However, as Linda Gottfredson suggests here g, Jobs, and Life you need an IQ of 110 to get a college degree, and in my opinion, 120+ to meet the information age, so more than half the American workforce ain't gonna make it.

Moreover, the numbers she present, with some 40+% of women going to college and something like 37% of me going to college, suggests that some serious dumbing down of college has occured over time.

Slac said...

Robert, as an economist, I can't let you get away saying something like this:

This is exactly the same argument that I tend to use in fighting with economically illiterate leftists - it doesn't matter that Group A's income is growing faster than Group B's, if both A and B are both making real improvements. Envy is stupid; equity is unattainable; improvement is the real metric.

You don't sound too economically literate yourself.

Aside from the fact that almost all objectives in economics are unattainable, like equilibrium and equity, this is not purely an equity issue anyways. It gives that impression because it just so happens that men and women each make up equal halves of the population. It's also a growth issue, and how the improvements in men's enrollments are below the natural rate and women's are above the natural rate. It's volatile growth. And that can create shocks to society.

What kind of "shock" can we expect from disparity in college enrollment? Well, a culture shock, for one. That's the type being argued in the media right now, about gender roles.

But there will be economic shocks behind it as well. More women than expected have a college education means more women in higher paying jobs than expected (many things can happen from here... like continuing the trend of putting off family development, contributing to lowering the rate of population growth, and all that follows from that...), more disposable income for women (here again more places to go... what new things will women by?), more demand for women's products, means higher prices, which means a lower than expected real salary increase for the women. Lower prices return when new firms enter the market to satisfy excess demand, more supply and volatile growth in the industries that cater to young college educated women. Business are likely fail in the turbulence of new interests and competition.

All the while, businesses that cater to young college educated men suffer insufficient demand growth. Sure, these businesses may grow nonetheless, but they would do so sufferring the opportunity cost of not investing in production that caters to women. There's more opportunity to make a profit selling to women, the market for men could suffer an adverse investment in supply shock, raising prices.

Damn. I thought I would someday rid myself of econspeak. It just sounds like someone is making it all up! :)


dude49,

... suggests that some serious dumbing down of college has occured over time.

I believe it!