September 04, 2008
From Jonathan K. Nelson & Richard J. Zeckhauser's The Patron's Payoff: Conspicuous Commissions in Italian Renaissance Art:
[Michael] Spence's classic book, Market Signaling, showed that capable individuals who could not directly demonstrate their skills to an anonymous job market might beneficially acquire a "costly" signala college degreeto do so. This signal can be secured at high but affordable cost by a motivated and talented person, but both getting into and getting through college would be extremely expensive to a less capable individual. This significant differential in costs makes the signal a reliable indicator of quality, and makes securing a college education worthwhile, even though the information learned in the process might be irrelevant to a prospective employer.
Posted by tplambeck at 04:14 PM
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