Freakonomics Goes to College, Part 2

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

College tends to make people happier, healthier, and wealthier. But how?

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Comments [3]

Rob Smith

I love the show and think this is an interesting topic. I was disappointed, however, that you didn't interview Bryan Caplan and get his perspective on the costs and benefits of college. I thought his work was very insightful-- especially from an economist's perspective.

Sep. 06 2012 09:40 AM
Matthew Schumaker from Triangle, NC

I definitely agree with the part of show that discussed how college encourages many people to question the views that they were brought up with. Learning other's viewpoint and having experiences outside my comfort zone had a huge impact on my views. The decision I made to worked overseas for 5 years was influenced in part by the experiences I had when meeting people from other countries and hearing stories of their homes.

Aug. 20 2012 04:33 PM
Peter from University of California at Santa Barbara

Here are 2 items that I think should be discussed:

1. Correlation vs. Causation......?

It seems that there is absolutely no proof that college Causes success. Rather, college is only Correlated with success.

If most people who are successful and happy have gone to college, was it the act of going to college that caused their success? Every college has an application process that picks the students that are most likely to be smart and successful. Isn't that evidence that college is simply correlated with the success of its students and does not cause it?

A person who goes to college is the type of person that will be successful.

(like in the book "Freakonomics," how an unusual name is not what causes a child to be a criminal, but an unusual name is an indicator that the parents are the types of people that would raise a criminal)

2. Openness and maturity can only be found in college........?
It seemed that the benefit of college has more to do with maturing and expanding our understanding of the world. My issue is that spending so much resources and money on reaching that goal is wasteful. Things like community service, travel, and simply meeting new people can have the same effect.

Aug. 16 2012 06:39 PM

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About Freakonomics Radio

In their books Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomicsSteven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner use the tools of economics to explore real-world behavior. As boring as that may sound, what they really do is tell stories — about cheating schoolteachers, self-dealing real-estate agents, and crack-selling mama’s boys. American Public Media’s Marketplace and WNYC are now bringing those Freakonomics stories — and plenty of new ones — to the radio, with Dubner as host. Just like the books, Freakonomics Radio will explore “the hidden side of everything.” It will tell you things you always thought you knew but didn’t, and things you never thought you wanted to know, but do.

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