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1. Antiquated Lectures: the college lecture format is antiquated. In my first year of graduate school, Brad Delong mentioned that the lecture format originally stemmed from a scarcity of books. Since only a few books were available, lecturers had to gather people in rooms to read them aloud. It’s very unlikely this method of instruction is still optimal.
2. Baumol’s Cost Disease: Roughly speaking, in 1960, one teacher could teach 20 students per day. In 2012, one teacher can still teach 20 students per day. Compared to other goods, such as a cars, TVs and computers, productivity in education has increased much less rapidly, resulting in profound economic consequences. In particular, Baumol’s cost disease, which is driven by these sectoral productivity differences, can lead to huge cost increases for relatively unproductive sectors. These underlying economic forces and cost increases amplify the need for productivity gains in the…
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