Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Equality of Opportunity
vs. Equality of Outcome

Phil Miller has an excellent posting at Market Power, contrasting equality of opportunity with equality of outcomes. Much of his discussion reminds me of some issues we dealt with in the UWO economics department many years ago.

On the same topic, I have a friend who teaches economics at a midwestern university. She says that economists are scooping up many of the grants for reduced teaching loads to do research, much to the dismay of the socionomologists and others from similar areas of study.

She wrote:
Well, the chairs of history, women's studies, sociology, etc. are upset because they feel, as I understand it, there is a "bias" in favor of quantitative studies and against qualitative (i.e. feelings-based) research. So, instead of having the teaching-load reductions based on merit between departments, they want them spread more equitably between departments. There are already restrictions placed on who can get them (if you had one in the past three years, your application is given lower priority, etc.). Now some want more restrictions.

In response, I think I will tell my students that I can assign only a limited number of A's each semester, and I am going to spread them around evenly. If a student gets an A on a test, s/he cannot get an A on another test regardless of how well they perform, for the next three tests. Instead, I will give the A to someone else so they don't get their feelings hurt.
Strike another blow against the meritocracy.
Who Links Here