Political Scientists are Smarter than Economists?

Travis Fast

Now I do not know what the scores are for Canada but according to the GRE statistics reported hereit appears that in two out of the three categories political scientists have superior GRE scores relative to their cousins in economics. But then this should hardly be surprising given that political scientists receive better training in their undergrad in verbal and analytical writing skills than their counterparts in economics. And, as it turns out, economists receive superior training in math in their undergrad education than their political science counterparts.

Thus, each scores better in what they were most heavily trained. Wow who would have thought education works?

This just in: those receiving training in plumbing are better at plumbing than your average DIY weekend warrior. I guess plumbers are smarter than the rest of us.

Note this post is a response Mankiw’s faux humility.

One Helluva Bake Sale

The People for Education, an Ontario public schools advocacy group, released a report today that found that Ontario’s public schools raised over $500 million from private (non-government) sources. This includes philanthropy, charitable donations and profits from cafeterias and vending machines. Either kids are being taken to the cleaners at lunchtime or schools have stepped up their efforts to privately finance childrens’ education.

Funding schools is the responsibility of the province. According to the report, while the Liberals have lowered class sizes, art, libraries, special ed, and ESL continue to experience shortfalls. Some of this need is clearly being picked up through charitable donations. The problem with doing this is that it will lead to large inequalities in which some schools will have and more will not. As the People for Education point show, the evidence speaks for itself: the top 10% of fundraising schools “raised more than the bottom 80% put together”.

The province must take this as a sign and fund access to special ed resources and extra-curricular activities. Otherwise, all we’re teaching is a hands-on lesson in systematic inequality.