John Mulaney — Majoring in English

 

After receiving a donation request from his undergraduate university, Mulaney questions the purpose of college. After spending $120,000 to major in English, he realizes that he may not have actually gotten out of it what he thought he would (human capital), but instead received a lot of consumptive benefits. He doesn’t mention the signalling aspect of a college degree, but it’s implied through his analysis on the lack of training he received.

Tarzan — Strangers Like Me

Jane decides to help Tarzan increase is human capital by learning some new “human” skills. After learning these various skills, Tarzan should be much more productive.

Thanks for the clip recommendation  Courtney Conrad!

The Colbert Report — College Credit

Stephen goes through the issues associated with the earning potential of various degrees. This satirical piece points out that college students receive credit for different courses, but they aren’t charged differently for their credit. He then goes through examples of ways colleges could break down credit into three tiers and charge based on potential gains to the students.

Adam Ruins Everything — Student Loans

Adam Ruins Everything is a half-hour informational comedy were host, Adam Conover, debunks popular myths. Each episode is divided into 3 segments with some common theme. In the Spring of 2018, James Tierney and I sat down to go through all three seasons of Adam Ruins Everything to pick out examples in each episode that could be used in an economics course. If you’re curious about the paper, you can read about it here.

Adam is back to discuss how student loan providers have turned so evil. When traditional institutions didn’t step in to provide loan services to students, the government tried to rectify the situation, but may have made things worse.

Dee-1 — Paying Sallie Mae Back

Dee-1 has a big announcement for his fans, he’s finally paying Sallie Mae (his student loans) back. This is my favorite video to play before we start discussing human capital markets because student loan providers are viewed as evil, but they are filling a role in the market that traditional lenders aren’t willing to service.

Neal Brennan: College Loans

A student in my Labor Economics class shared this great clip of standup comedian Neal Brennan discussing why banks don’t want to loan for college degrees. This is a great clip to talk about capital market imperfections and even signalling.

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