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ECON 138 De Anza College Economics of Discrimination Discussion

ECON 138 De Anza College Economics of Discrimination Discussion

Question Description

Read the NYT article, “Disdain for the Less Educated is the Last Acceptable Prejudice”, All three essay questions are based on this article. All three essays have a suggested word count of 300 words.

This article makes the point that discrimination against the less educated is an important form of discrimination, which can be detrimental especially in the outcome of political leadership. In this first short writing section summarize how the article arrives at this conclusion. Please be sure to pay attention to the evidence presented in the article. In some countries (like Pakistan) there are laws that require politicians to have a minimum level of education in order to stand for elections. Do you think such laws makes sense in light of this article?

Suppose a law is passed making education discrimination illegal: that is, an employer cannot consider a worker’s educational attainment in her hiring decision (and education, unlike race is not “directly” observable). What effects would such a law have on the labor market outcomes (wages and employment) of those without a college degree? Respond to this question by considering a case where discrimination against those that do not go to college is taste based, and another case where this discrimination is statistical.

Consider if the federal government makes tuition at public colleges and universities free. Suppose prior to this policy college attendance was a poor signal of ability: many high-ability, low-income students could not afford to attend college, but many low-ability, high-income students could afford and attend college. Will the signal value of college attendance change as a result of this policy, and if so, how? How would you expect this policy to affect the educational attainment, employment, and wages of those who are poorer? Use readings/concepts from this class to support your arguments.


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