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The Race between Education and Technology

3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  96 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews

This book provides a careful historical analysis of the co-evolution of educational attainment and the wage structure in the United States through the twentieth century. The authors propose that the twentieth century was not only the American Century but also the Human Capital Century. That is, the American educational system is what made America the richest nation in the

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Hardcover, 496 pages
Published June 30th 2008 by Belknap Press (first published December 6th 9)
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Marks54
Apr 11, 2011 Marks54 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most thoughtful books on the relationship between academia/education and the high tech economy that I have ever read. The basic punchline is that the problem with the economy is not that there are not good jobs out there but that on average, the educational establishment is not producing graduates in sufficient numbers and with sufficient training to fill them. Historically, education produced "positive externalities" for America, in that people left skills than we needed and ...more
Travis
Jan 18, 2009 Travis rated it really liked it
So apparently the Obama economic advisors have been reading this book as well. Let me give you the run down.

1) From 1945 - 1973 there was shrinking inequality in the United States. People (in general) were reaching higher levels of education than ever seen in history and the gap between the rich and the poor was being reduced

2) Since 1973 - Things have not been as good. If you remove the top 5% of income earners off of any wage demographics then almost no one has seen their wages (purchasing pow
...more
JFN
Feb 27, 2012 JFN rated it really liked it
It's tough to rate this book on a "like" scale, as it's pretty clinical -- written by two Harvard economists, it doesn't have a populist voice and isn't exactly what you'd curl up with with a cup of tea in front of a fire on a lazy Sunday afternoon. In short -- this is not pleasure reading, as many other works in this genre have managed to be (e.g., Whatever it Takes or The Death and Life of the Great American School System, which are as engaging as they are informative). But that's not what thi ...more
Andy
Feb 16, 2009 Andy rated it really liked it
This was a pretty good read, although the graphs and economic equations can be exhausting if that isn't your background (or even if it is).

I would recommend it anyway since it gives a lot of insight into development of the U.S. education system and our current downfall relative to other wealthy countries.

It's really refreshing to hear someone make broad statements about the state of our education system and have hard data to back it up. It doesn't hurt that the data has been collected and analy
...more
Kevin
Jan 28, 2009 Kevin marked it as to-read
Shelves: non-fiction
"Goldin’s and Katz’s thesis is that the 20th century was the American century in large part because this country led the world in education. The last 30 years, when educational gains slowed markedly, have been years of slower growth and rising inequality." -NY Times
Jane
Dec 15, 2016 Jane rated it really liked it
I read the first part to get the premise of the book, skimmed the middle, and the last two chapters. I was not interested in the studies or statistics but in policy prescriptions.
Will
Dec 29, 2012 Will rated it really liked it
"The three topics of this book - technological change, education, and inequality - are intricately related in a kind of 'race.' During the first three-quarters of the twentieth century, the rising supply of educated workers outstripped the increased demand caused by technological advances. Higher real incomes were accompanied by lower inequality. But during the last two decades of the century the reverse was the case, and there was sharply rising inequality. Put another way, in the first half of ...more
Jysoo
Mar 01, 2015 Jysoo rated it really liked it
The authors gave an in-depth look on the interplay among education, productivity, and wage. What stands out are the breadth and depth of study. They discussed changes for the entire 20th century, and gave very detailed analysis on various issues of the topic. This book is certainly a gem for who want to study the topic seriously, but can be a bit too heavy for people with general interest.
University of Chicago Magazine
Claudia Goldin, AM’69, PhD’72
Coauthor

From our pages (Nov–Dec/14): "Delight in discovery: Economic historian Claudia Goldin takes a detective’s joy in gathering clues, analyzing data, and reconstructing the stories behind social issues." http://mag.uchicago.edu/economics-bus...
Jack
Aug 07, 2010 Jack rated it liked it
A substantive but not particularly shocking portrait of the American century through the lens of educational access, with some glib proscriptions of how to throw money at the problem of the stalled curve of educational attainment in the US.
Jeff Vankooten
An astute and scholarly investigation of the increasing inequality of education in our society.
Jonna Higgins-Freese
Mar 10, 2015 Jonna Higgins-Freese rated it it was ok
Shelves: skimmed
A disappointingly shallow analysis that attributes all workforce and income change to technology rather than structural economic forces such as declining wages, etc.
Fred R
Apr 13, 2012 Fred R rated it liked it
There are some basic questions about the relationship between education and technology that I think they failed to adequately address.
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Want to start a discussion 1 2 Mar 12, 2010 04:53AM  
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“The three topics of this book - technological change, education, and inequality - are intricately related in a kind of 'race.' During the first three-quarters of the twentieth century, the rising supply of educated workers outstripped the increased demand caused by technological advances. Higher real incomes were accompanied by lower inequality. But during the last two decades of the century the reverse was the case, and there was sharply rising inequality. Put another way, in the first half of the century, education raced ahead of technology, but later in the century, technology raced ahead of educational gains. The skill bias of technology did not change much across the century, nor did its rate of change. Rather, the sharp rise in inequality was largely due to an educational slowdown.” 0 likes
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