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More on the College Puzzle

It’s been well established that college takes longer these days. Philip S. Babcock and Mindy Marks have identified (earlier, ungated version here) another piece of the puzzle: decreasing time investments. They found that “[f]ull-time students allocated 40 hours per week toward class and studying in 1961, whereas by 2003 they were investing about 27 hours per week.” The declines were “broad-based” and couldn’t be explained by compositional changes. Both students who worked while in college and those who didn’t experienced declines in study time. The authors conclude that “if student effort is a meaningful input to the education production process, then declining time investment may signify declining production of human capital-or a dramatic and heretofore undocumented change in the way human capital is being produced on college campuses.”?(HT: Marginal Revolution)[%comments]