What is more important to economic development, sex or a college education? Considering what so many of the women are studying, I’d bet on sex and the underperformance of an overeducated population contra the concept of a causal relationship between education and economic growth. Carpe Diem has more:
It’s college graduation season, and according to data available from the U.S. Department of Education, an estimated 3,092,800 degrees will be granted this academic year (2008-2009) for Associate’s degrees (714,000), Bachelor’s degrees (1,585,000), Master’s degrees (647,000), Professional degrees for MD, DDS and JD (91,000) and Doctor’s degrees for Ph.D and Ed.D (55,800).
On a tangential note, I’d say that those 3 million degrees being granted on an annual basis are far past the limits of the economy’s aggregate demand. Note that we haven’t added a single net job to the economy since mid-2005 according to the BLS labor force statistics, so 12 million new additions to the labor force over the last four years have to find job openings based solely upon demographic attrition.
Unlike those who wring their hands about this, I think the problem will settle itself as such problems always do. The more unemployable women graduate with worthless degrees, the more the value of a degree will fall. Attempts to turn to government in order to forcibly maintain the value of their degrees will fail because of the limits on government action enforced by the ongoing economic contraction; the sort of men who start companies without college degrees will be very difficult to convince of the need for them or to waste valuable company resources on unproductive staff.