Tuesday, May 1, 2007

What Are We Paying These Professors For

A few days back Bryan posted on more evidence for the signaling hypothesis, that is the notion that the only reason to go to college is to prove to the world how smart you are. Exhibit A is the fact that you only have to pay for classes that you are getting a grade in. Sitting in the back and listening are free.

Well, first off sitting in the back and listening is not free. There are the usual opportunity cost arguments but I’ll bring up a more fundamental point. I have been kicked out of lectures that I didn’t pay for.

Being an Aspie and hence an economist since birth I realized I could get a free education early on. So long as I didn’t interact or say much I was fine. However, once the professor noticed that it was a little snot-nosed kid speaking up they were quick to ask me “Are you a student at this school??”

I think the reason that you can get a free education is that the monitoring costs are high compared to the number of people who want to steal education. Now, why is it that more people don't try.

Well, for one historically the actual cost of tuition is low compared to the opportunity cost. The cost of devoting enough time not only to the lectures but to homework and studying were much higher than tuition.

Two, the grading and advising process do serve a function. We can talk about hyperbolic discounting or constrained rationality but the bottom line is that self-control is a serious issue. The fact that you are faced with a grade motivates you to do the work.

As a side on this the best advice that I can give for young students is show up. Go to class. Go to see your professor. Your natural sense of shame will take care of the rest. As long as you can get yourself into that classroom on a regular basis you will be too embarrassed to slack off – that much.

Three, embarrassment is a serious cost to most people. I am amazed at the opportunities that people pass up because they are afraid of embarrassment. Even if there was no formal sanction, simply having someone point out that you are a free rider would mortify many people.

For these reasons most people pay for their education. The interesting question is whether or not the percentage of free riders has risen as the cost of education has gone up.

25 comments:

Dex Kaden said...

While I think the embarassment factor plays a part, there are some people for whom being considered a "free rider" in regards to education wouldn't bother them at all---I am one of those people, but then I, too, am an Aspie. I tend to get more actual learning done when I am free to follow an idea without having to pause and interrupt to finish an assignment.

Also, I suppose that embarassment is also an opportunity cost. If I recognize that there might be some negative social reactions if people find out I'm sitting in on class for free, but value the education I'm receiving more than the opinion of my peers, then I'll sit in on the class.

That being said, I learn more outside a lecture hall than I do inside it, so I spend most of my time in the library, "auditing" a class (for free) when I think it might help answer a question.

Also, I suppose that if teachers were paid per pupil it might make them care more about free riders, but I don't think that is the case. I would also hazard a guess that a lot of college professors are teaching because they love knowledge and that a certain percentage of professors would love to share their knowledge with anyone who asked, not necessarily a paying student. Grading homework is another story altogether, but again, I think there is a percentage of professors who love to explain what they know and would be fine with going over questions.

And sometimes when I'm just bored with a class I am paying for, I'll skip it and sit in on another one in a different department. I love to listen to physics and history lectures.

Anonymous said...

flattenyourabs -
flatten your abs -
flat to fab -
forex grid bot -
get google ads free -
get paid to draw -
get this off my chest now -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
heartburn no more -
homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
honest riches -
learn photoshop now -
linden method -
malware removal bot -
marketing on the fringe -
maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -
meet your sweet -
musclegainingsecrets -
muscle gaining secrets -
my online income system -
negative calorie diet -
no adware -
one minute cure -
one week marketing -
online pickup secrets -
partenon -
pc on point -
perfect optimizer -
perfect uninstaller -
pick the gender of your baby -
power cash secret -

Anonymous said...

profit lance -
publicrecordspro -
public records pro -
push button marketer -
quit smoking today -
registry easy -
registry easy download -
registry fix -
registry winner download -
reverse mobile -
reverse phone detective -
richard mackenzie direct -
rocket spanish -
rss power plus -
sem business blueprint -
silent sales machine -
spam bully -
sports betting champ -
spyware cease -
spyware nuker -
spyware remover -
starting a day care center -
the bad breath report -
the cb code -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
the super mind evolution system -
traffic travis -
truth about abs -
turbulencetraining -
turbulence training -
twitter affiliate cash -
twitter decoded -
video piggy -

Anonymous said...

video web wizard -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
warp speed fat loss -
wedding speech 4u -
windo fix -
your bill killer -
you will get paid -
zygor guides -
20 day persuasion -
advanced pc tweaker -
adware bot -
affiliate naire -
apple patch diet -
article submitter -
art of approaching -
burnthefat -
burn the fat -
carb rotation diet -
cold sore freedom in 3 days -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
copy that game -
cure for bruxism -
cure hemorrhoids -
cyber link pro -
dl guard -
driver checker -
driver robot -
drop shipping wholesalers -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy backup wizard -
easy click mate -

Anonymous said...

easy photo biz -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
epinoisis -
error fix -
error killer -
error smart -
evidence nuker -
fap turbo -
fatburningfurnace -
fat burning furnace -
fatloss4idiots -
fat loss 4 idiots -
final uninstaller -
fitnessmodelprogram -
fitness model program -
fit yummy yummy -
flattenyourabs -
flatten your abs -
flat to fab -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
heartburn no more -
hippo jaw -
homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
honest riches -
hot video squeeze templates -
instant website creation -
jump manual -
keyword research pro -
linden method -
malware removal bot -
maternityacupressure -

Anonymous said...

maternity acupressure -
meet your sweet -
micro niche finder -
musclegainingsecrets -
muscle gaining secrets -
muscle gain truth -
my traffic strategy -
nasty dirty money -
negative calorie diet -
no adware -
pc optimizer pro -
perfect uninstaller -
pergola plans -
pick the gender of your bady -
plr ebook club -
pregnancy without pounds -
profit lance -
publicrecordspro -
public records pro -
questions for couples -
quit smoking today -
ready made review sites -
reg genie -
registry easy -
registry easy download -
registry winner -
registry winner download -
retrievea lover -
reverse mobile -
richard mackenzie direct -
rocket italian -
rocket spanish -
roulette sniper -
rss ground -

Anonymous said...

secret affiliate weapon -
secrets book -
spam bully -
spyware cease -
spyware nuker -
spyware remover -
spy zooka -
starting a day care center -
tattoo fever -
team idemise -
the bad breath report -
the cb code -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
the rich jerk -
the super mind evolution system -
turbulencetraining -
turbulence training -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
warp speed fat loss -
wedding speech 4u -
windo fix -
wrap candy -
zygor guides -
7day ebook -
360 fix kit -
advanced pc tweaker -
adware bot -
affiliate naire -
art of approaching -
beating adwords -
believe and manifest -
blogging in action -

Anonymous said...

body building revealed -
burthefat -
burn the fat -
carb rotation diet -
cheat your way thin -
cold sore freedom in 3 days -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
convert 2 ev -
cure for bruxism -
cure hemorrhoids -
digi cam cash -
digital media solution -
dl guard -
driver checker -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy backup wizard -
easy member pro -
easy tv soft -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
error fix -
error killer -
evidence nuker -
fap turbo -
fatburningfurnace -
fat burning furnace -
fatloss4idiots -
fat loss 4 idiots -
final uninstaller -
fitnessmodelprogram -
fitness model program -
flatten your abs -

Anonymous said...

gamers testing ground -
gov auction -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
gov records -
herbal hair solution -
homebre ware -
home job group -
homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
inteli gator -
joanas world -
joyful tomato -
kidney stone remedy -
learn digital photography now -
learn elements now -
linden method -
lose man boobs -
malware removal bot -
maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -
meet your sweet -
muscle gaining secrets -
muscle gain truth -
niche adsense themes -
ninety day powerseller -
pc optimizer pro -
pregnancy miracle -
pregnancy without pounds -
privacy control -
publicrecordspro -
public records pro -
quit smoking today -
reg genie -

Anonymous said...

gamers testing ground -
gov auction -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
gov records -
herbal hair solution -
homebre ware -
home job group -
homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
inteli gator -
joanas world -
joyful tomato -
kidney stone remedy -
learn digital photography now -
learn elements now -
linden method -
lose man boobs -
malware removal bot -
maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -
meet your sweet -
muscle gaining secrets -
muscle gain truth -
niche adsense themes -
ninety day powerseller -
pc optimizer pro -
pregnancy miracle -
pregnancy without pounds -
privacy control -
publicrecordspro -
public records pro -
quit smoking today -
reg genie -

Anonymous said...

registry easy -
registry genius -
registry smart -
registry winner -
registry winner download -
retrievea lover -
reverse mobile -
richard mackenzie direct -
rocket italian -
save my marriage today -
secrets book -
seo elite -
spyware cease -
spyware remover -
spy zooka -
stock assault -
talking to toddlers -
the action machine -
thebadbreathreport -
the bad breath report -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
the rich jerk -
tonsil stones remedies -
top secret fat loss secret -
turbo cash generator -
turbulence training -
twitter online system -
uncle sams money -
underground hypnosis -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
warp speed fat loss -
water 4 gas -

Anonymous said...

wedding speech 4u -
wp goldmine -
wrap candy -
xsite pro -
zygor guides -
37 days to clean credit -
advanced defrag -
adware alert -
adware bot -
affiliate prophet -
affiliate video brander -
anti spyware -
art of approaching -
atomic blogging -
auction classified cash -
automated cash formula -
bbq book -
bloggers pay check -
blogging in action -
body building revealed -
burnthefat -
burn the fat -
carb rotation diet -
cheat your way thin -
chopper tattoo -
cleanup the profits -
cold sore freedom in 3 days -
commission blueprint -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
cure for bruxism -
declutter fast -
driver checker -
earth4energy -

Anonymous said...

earth 4 energy -
easy member pro -
easy tv soft -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
fap turbo -
fatburningfurnace -
fat burning furnace -
fatloss4idiots -
final sync -
final uninstaller -
fitness model program -
fit yummy yummy -
flatten your abs -
forex ambush -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
healthy urban kitchen -
homebrew installer -
homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
instant article wizard -
jamo rama -
joyful tomato -
lose man boobs -
lower body make over -
maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -
maverick money makers -
meet your sweet -
muscle gaining secrets -
muscle gain truth -
natural cancer treatments -
niche review templates -

Anonymous said...

nyhms warcraft guides -
pappa pc -
pc booster -
pc optimizer pro -
pc secret formula -
pda flix -
privacy control -
publicrecordspro -
public records pro -
push button ecover -
reg defense -
reg genie -
registry easy -
registry genius -
registry smart -
registry winner -
registry winner download -
reverse mobile -
richard mackenzie direct -
rocket japanese -
rotator cuff training -
save my marriage today -
secrets book -
silent sales machine -
silver lotto -
spyware cease -
super affiliate handbook -
the 11 forgotten laws -
thebadbreathreport -
the bad breath report -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
the power pause -
tmj help -

Anonymous said...

tonsil stones remedies -
top secret fat loss secret -
turbulence training -
twitter rockstar -
uncle sams money -
underground hypnosis -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
warcraft millionaire -
warcraft wealth -
warp speed fat loss -
webcomp analyst -
wedding speech 4u -
win back love -
your software website -
zox pro -
zygor guides -
500 love making tips -
acid alkaline diet -
acne no more -
advanced defrag -
adware alert -
adware bot -
affiliate elite -
anti spyware -
anti spyware bot -
article bully -
art of approaching -
auto pilot profits -
bbq book -
blogging in action -
body building revealed -
burnthefat -
burn the fat -

Anonymous said...

carb rotation diet -
chopper tattoo -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
cure for tinnitus -
debt free in three -
driver checker -
duplicate file cleaner -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy member pro -
easy tv soft -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
end your tinnitus -
fap winner -
fat burning furnace -
fatloss4idiots -
fat loss 4 idiots -
final sync -
final uninstaller -
firewall gold -
fitness model program -
fit yummy yummy -
flatten your abs -
forex auto money -
forex auto pilot -
forex confidante -
game tester guide -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
healthy urban kitchen -
higher faster sports -
homebrew installer -

Anonymous said...

homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
i am big brother -
instant profit machine -
i want a teaching job -
joyful tomato -
lose man boobs -
lower body make over -
macro virus -
magic of making up -
make money taking surveys -
malware bot -
maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -
meet your sweet -
moles warts removal -
money siphon system -
muscle gaining secrets -
my airfare secrets -
my miracle loans -
my out of control teen -
natural cancer treatments -
ovarian cyst cures -
pc optimizer pro -
piano for all -
prevent sweating -
privacy control -
publicrecordspro -
public records pro -
pvp bible -
quick article pro -
quit smoking today -
reg defense -
reg genie -

Anonymous said...

registry easy -
registry genius -
registry smart -
registry winner -
registry winner download -
reg tool -
relationship headquarters -
reverse mobile -
richard mackenzie direct -
rocket japanese -
rotator cuff training -
satellite tv pc master -
secrets book -
spy no more -
spyware cease -
survey scout -
the bad breath report -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
the guru assassin -
the power pause -
tmj help -
tonsil stones remedies -
turbulence training -
two minute profits -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
warp speed fat loss -
web traffic machines -
wedding speech 4u -
wind plans -
xp repair pro -
your fun business -
zygor guides -

Anonymous said...

500 love making tips -
acid alkaline diet -
acne no more -
advanced defrag -
anti spyware bot -
art of approaching -
banish tinnitus -
beat eczema -
blood pressure normalized -
burnthefat -
burn the fat -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
cpa arbitrage -
creative date ideas -
debt free in three -
digital background -
dirty talking guide -
discus fish secrets -
duplicate file cleaner -
dw insider -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy tv soft -
easy web video -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
end your tinnitus -
error doctor -
evidence smart -
fap winner -
fat burning furnace -
fat loss 4 idiots -
final sync -

Anonymous said...

my phone riches -
natural cancer treatments -
online tv pc -
panic away -
pdf creator -
peel away ads -
pips leader -
ppc web spy -
prevent sweating -
privacy control -
publicrecordspro -
public records pro -
questions for couples -
quick article pro -
quick paid surveys -
quit smoking today -
reg defense -
registry winner -
reg tool -
reverse mobile -
richard mackenzie direct -
rocket german -
rotator cuff training -
rss feeds submit -
satellite pc box -
save the marriage -
spy no more -
spyware stop -
super seduction power -
surefire trading challenge -
tattoo me now -
the bad breath report -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -

Anonymous said...

the dog food conspiracy -
the mini site formula -
tmj help -
tonsil stones remedies -
truth about abs -
twitter trick -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
warp speed fat loss -
wedding speech 4u -
win clear -
xbox 360 red light fix -
xp repair pro -
500 love making tips -
acid alkaline diet -
advanced defrag -
alpha male system -
amazing cover letters -
anti spyware -
anti spyware bot -
article rewriter -
art of approaching -
auto cash system -
burnthefat -
burn the fat -
bv cures -
calling men -
camera dollars -
carb rotation diet -
cash making power sites -
cb mall -
combat the fat -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -

Anonymous said...

credit secrets bible -
destroy hemorrhoids -
dirty talking guide -
dotcom income secrets -
duplicate file cleaner -
dvd copy pro -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy launcher -
easy system cleaner -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
eczema free forever -
end your tinnitus -
error nuker -
fatburningfurnace -
fat burning furnace -
fat loss 4 idiots -
final sync -
firewall gold -
fitness model program -
fit over 40 -
fit yummy yummy -
flattenyourabs -
flatten your abs -
forex candlesticks made easy -
forex killer -
forex megadroid -
get rid of your cellulite -
g money pro -
google shadow -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
gov resources -

Anonymous said...

health biz in a box -
homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
hybrid water power -
i software tv -
joyful tomato -
keyword spy pro -
kingdom of pets -
macro virus -
malware bot -
maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -
meet your sweet -
microcap millionaires -
moles warts removal -
mole wart removal -
muscle gaining secrets -
natural cure for yeast infection -
paid surveys etc -
panic away -
pdf creator -
public records pro -
quick article pro -
quick income blueprint -
quit smoking today -
ranking loophole -
reg clean -
reg defense -
regi cleanse -
registry easy -
registry genius -
registry winner -
reg sweep -
reg tool -

Anonymous said...

reverse mobile -
richard mackenzie direct -
rig worker -
rocket chinese -
rocket french -
rocket german -
rotator cuff training -
rss feeds submit -
save the marriage -
site builder elite -
six figure yearly 2009 -
sleep tracks -
sold in 21 days -
spyware stop -
stop being tired -
stop your hair loss -
the bad breath report -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
tonsil stones remedies -
top secret magic code -
truth about abs -
turbulence training -
turn your photos into cash -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
warp speed fat loss -
wedding speech 4u -
win clear -
xbox 360 red light fix -
xp repair pro -
1st promotion -
3 redlight fix -
500 love making tips -

Anonymous said...

acid alkaline diet -
advanced defrag -
anti spyware -
anti spyware bot -
art of approaching -
banish rosacea -
blog lock down -
brad yates -
building a chicken coop -
burnthefat -
burn the fat -
carb rotation diet -
combat the fat -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
copy n profit -
credit secrets bible -
cure angular cheilitis -
cure morning sickness -
dirty talking guide -
domain tweak system -
dotcom income secrets -
duplicate file cleaner -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy launcher -
easy system cleaner -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
eczema free forever -
email finder -
energy 2 green -
error nuker -
evidence smart -