matriculation as prisoner's dilemma Watch

cambio wechsel
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#1
I think a large part of why Alan goes to university is to be competitive in the job market with Bob and Carol, but that these two are motivated by the want to compete with Alan and as well with each other. Essentially, none of them is especially keen to be there, only keen not to not be there if the others are.

A thought experiment - you have the casting vote on a government policy to reduce the number of students matriculating at university to ten percent of the 18 year old population. The condition is that you cannot go. So, if you vote 'yes', you get to leave formal education at 18 - no opportunity cost in lost earnings, no fees,no more exams - and can be content that you'll be in the massive majority in competing for jobs only on A-levels.

1. Would you do it?
2. What proportion of sixth-formers do you think would take that deal? ''Sure, as long as I'm not at any relative disadvantage...''
0
reply
TurboCretin
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#2
Report 4 years ago
#2
Nah, uni was the best.
0
reply
nulli tertius
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#3
Report 4 years ago
#3
(Original post by cambio wechsel)
I think a large part of why Alan goes to university is to be competitive in the job market with Bob and Carol, but that these two are motivated by the want to compete with Alan and as well with each other. Essentially, none of them is especially keen to be there, only keen not to not be there if the others are.

A thought experiment - you have the casting vote on a government policy to reduce the number of students matriculating at university to ten percent of the 18 year old population. The condition is that you cannot go. So, if you vote 'yes', you get to leave formal education at 18 - no opportunity cost in lost earnings, no fees,no more exams - and can be content that you'll be in the massive majority in competing for jobs only on A-levels.

1. Would you do it?
2. What proportion of sixth-formers do you think would take that deal? ''Sure, as long as I'm not at any relative disadvantage...''
In your scenario the "prisoners" are not rational actors. They, like real students, lack knowledge of what university is actually like but have been subject to years of propaganda saying university is intrinsically a good thing.

Instead of a prisoner's dilemma, what about a prisoner's Mum and Dads' dilemma? Exactly the same scenario except this time it is the parent with the vote about whether their child and other people's children go to university.

We have been very close to this in the late 1960s, early 1970s. At a time where there were fixed catchment areas in secondary education and very limited numbers of independent day schools (in other words for the overwhelming majority of parents there was no alternative to taking the "system" as they found it) parents clearly backed abolition of grammar schools in their local authority area even if supporting grammar schools as an idea. Margaret Thatcher remarked on this tendency even amongst Conservative activists when education secretary.

Parents wouldn't then support a educational competition that involved their own children. Arguably there has been the same approach with the tacit parental support of exam grade inflation over the past 25 years.
0
reply
Observatory
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#4
Report 4 years ago
#4
(Original post by cambio wechsel)
I think a large part of why Alan goes to university is to be competitive in the job market with Bob and Carol, but that these two are motivated by the want to compete with Alan and as well with each other. Essentially, none of them is especially keen to be there, only keen not to not be there if the others are.

A thought experiment - you have the casting vote on a government policy to reduce the number of students matriculating at university to ten percent of the 18 year old population. The condition is that you cannot go. So, if you vote 'yes', you get to leave formal education at 18 - no opportunity cost in lost earnings, no fees,no more exams - and can be content that you'll be in the massive majority in competing for jobs only on A-levels.

1. Would you do it?
2. What proportion of sixth-formers do you think would take that deal? ''Sure, as long as I'm not at any relative disadvantage...''
I wouldn't take the deal because I think I am well inside the top 10% of the aptitude distribution.

If I were in the 10-20% range I would jump at the deal.

If I were in the 40-100% range I probably would not understand the question.

People clearly act irrationally here: look for instance at all the whining about A levels and GCSEs moving a little back toward norm referencing under Gove when these exams are almost exclusively used for norm-referenced purposes like university entrance anyway. Ask most people and they think that an inflation-matching nominal salary increase is a pay rise.

So I don't think it's a prisoners' dilemma. Most people believe that university education has real and enormous social and private utility in almost all cases, but that individuals or the bond market would not fund it privately. That's the problem they think they are solving.
1
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Have you made up your mind on your five uni choices?

Yes I know where I'm applying (154)
59.46%
No I haven't decided yet (60)
23.17%
Yes but I might change my mind (45)
17.37%

Watched Threads

View All
Latest
My Feed