Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Changes at the margin

My boys at Marginal Revolution have been talking a lot over the last few years about the changes coming to higher education, driven by competition, advances in technology and declines in marginal utility, as tuition costs continue into the stratosphere and graduates look for jobs.

Today, they announced the launch of Marginal Revolution University, an online teaching facility designed to teach economics using a series of short videos. The concept is simple, by design, and will evolve as they figure out what works and what doesn't.

Of particular interest to me is the first module, Development Economics:
We will cover theories like the Solow and O-ring models and we will cover the empirical data on development and trade, foreign aid, industrial policy, and corruption. Development Economics will include not just theory but a wealth of historical and factual information on specific countries and topics, everything from watermelon scale economies and the clove monopoly to water privatization in Buenos Aires and cholera in Haiti. A special section in this round will examine India. There are no prerequisites for this course but neither is it dumbed down. We think there will be material in Development Economics that will be of interest to high school students in the United States and Bangladesh and also to PhDs in economics, even to those who specialize in this field.
Sounds like a whisper. I have signed up and encourage you to check it out. Looks like Big D and the Gs might not be crushed by the costs of higher education after all. Time to move money in the 529 plans into the NASDAQ?

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