In this post I reprint a piece by Ricardo Hausmann (an economist at Harvard’s Kennedy School), which was published in Project Syndicate in 2015. Here’s a link to the original. If you can’t get past the paywall, here’s a link to a PDF.
What I like about this piece is the way Hausmann challenges a central principle that guides educational policy, both domestic and international. This is the belief that education is the central engine of economic growth. According to this credo, increasing education is how we can increase productivity, GDP, and standard of living. Hausmann shows, however, that the impact of education on economic growth is a lot less than promised. Other factors appear to be more important than education at expanding economies, so investing in these strategies may be a lot more efficient than the costly process of increasing access to tertiary education.
As the former chief economist at the Inter-American Development Bank and the head of the Harvard Growth Lab, he seems to know something about this subject. See what you think.