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February 7, 2019 at 1:45 pm

Vedder in Forbes | Contretemps over Colleges And Income Mobility

Dr. Richard Vedder, portrait

Dr. Richard Vedder

Dr. Richard Vedder, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Economics at Ohio University, authored a column in Forbes headlined “Colleges And Income Mobility: Undermatched, Overmatched And More.”

A potential academic contretemps between some giants in the economics profession has emerged relating to the issue of the role that colleges play in promoting inter-generational income mobility—the ability of lower-income Americans to use education as a means of achieving prosperity and sharing in the American Dream. One remarkable thing about this dispute is that it is led largely by women and nonwhite males, not the white males who dominate most of modern economics.

On the one side is Raj Chetty, a Harvard educated economist now at Stanford, and his team of colleagues located mostly at East Coast Ivy League schools. Chetty is an economics wunderkind, a recipient of the American Economic Association’s highest award, the John Bates Clark Medal, as well as the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant. The team’s data on incomes of students attending American colleges is widely used, recently by myself on a widely watched national news commentary show. On the other side is the remarkably prolific writer on the economics of education,  Stanford’s Caroline Hoxby, arguably America’s most distinguished African-American female economist, and her coauthor, the University of Virginia’s Sarah Turner. Among other things, Professor Hoxby is known for advancing the “undermatch” hypothesis, namely that some very bright members of minority groups often end up going to schools of lesser quality than those they are capable of attending. Some able members of minority groups reduce their chances for future national distinction….

Read his column at Forbes.

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