Thursday, November 08, 2012

If Demand is Too High....Charge LESS!

Some innovative thinking from Florida, on higher education.

We'll subsidize the degrees that people already want by charging lower tuition, and tax the degrees that are not popular by charging higher tuition.

Or, is it that employers want people with these degrees, but students don't want those degrees?  They prefer useless degrees, and the state is trying to use Pigouvian taxes to get people to want what the state wants them to want?

Either way, I had not heard of price discrimination on tuition, based on the opposite of desirability of the degree.

With thanks to Chateau...


Anonymous said...

You're hoping for too much here. Of course just not extorting the market would probably be best. If people want to get worthless degrees (without gov't guaranteed loans or state funding to schools), more power to them. But assuming you can't fix that problem (and politically, you can't, or at least florida can't), I think what florida is trying to do is to encourage those subsidies to go to degrees with positive externalities. Granted they're unlikely to do a good job of picking majors, but I don't think they have to do a good job to improve on the status quo, which is spending gov't resources to subsidize a 5-year drinking and partying vacation while students squeak by in classes that impart no discernable skill. Worst case scenario, you end up with an incompetent engineer or software designer filling your coffee order instead of a genders study graduate filling your coffee order. I don't see how they're going to make this situation any worse.

Jon P said...

I usually disagree with you reflexively, anonymous, if that's your real name, but in this case I am with you. :)

Schools raise their prices to meet rising costs, or to raise their prestige, and give them flexibility to offer discounts to the students they'd really like to have, having the governemnt add another stirring spoon to this pot does not sound hopeful.

But if the government thinks businesses would do better if there were more qualified STEM majors that graduated from their state, maybe the government ought to sit back and let businesses offer scholarships to make a STEM degree easier to attain.