Timmy elsewhere

At the ASI.

We should have a Pigou Tax upon arts degrees.

8 thoughts on “Timmy elsewhere”

  1. Tssk Tim, we *already* subsidise “hard” degrees. You don’t think 2 lectures a week with a week off for “reading” once a term (English degree tuition when I attended college) costs 9 grand a year do you?

  2. Feminist of the moment Caroline Ocado-Waitroz is currently doing a “masters in Gender Studies” at the LSE. The calculated Pigou tax on that would be of a magnitude beyond imagining.

  3. Designing bridges? Based on my experience of arts graduates writing software, I’d rather keep paying the subsidy to keep them the hell away from anything serious.

    (in a nutshell: software companies have realised that hiring “graduates” and training as programmers doesn’t work – you do better hiring kids with good A level Maths and Physics).

  4. A genuine market in Higher Education would orientate itself towards the personal economic benefit of the individual student. I was wondering whether the wider economic growth (or reduction) equates to the private benefits. Does anyone know?

  5. Rupert, did you turn up for those 2 lectures a week?
    We had usually 3 a week, for 12 weeks per semester and 2 semesters a year (genocide lectures particularly avoided by most students). Of those 12 weeks at least one or two would be spent doing presentations or in class test.

  6. @Ironman, a genuine market would require floating prices rather than the fixed 9 grand a year. Actually that’s a maximum, but the fact that almost everywhere charges it for almost everything suggests it is still below cost. Even for Jemima and Jocelyn subjects.

    Higher education fees cause problems because of the future benefit/cost today effect. £27,000 seems like an absolute fortune when you are 18 (unless you are called Jemima or Jocelyn and daddy can pay it, plus your living expenses, little beamer to runabout in). Yet our scarce higher education resources are hardly efficiently allocated if the thick kids of rich parents get to study while the bright kids of poor parents do not. Which is what tends to happen (not all of course, just a tendency) when you charge up front for it.

  7. James V, its a debt that isn’t payable until earning a certain gross figure, and not paying off any of the capital until earning an even higher figure. For those who do not go into high earning jobs with plenty of room for advancement then its likely the capital and probably much of the interest will be written off in time.
    We’ve had student loans system for some years now, still come across people who have never paid a penny from their capital owed and their starting level of repayment is a lot lower than the new students level.
    Back when tuition fees was a political hot potatoe before the general election there were many who said £27k+ debt would put people off applying. Is the figure applying now much worse than say 2008 or 2009? Or does it make so little difference that there are still more applying than there are places?

  8. @Martin Davies: I turned up for my 25+ hours / week as a Mech Eng student. My interest in English students was entirely, ahem, recreational 🙂

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