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Times Columnist Likes Katz, Goldin Take on Education and Economy

7.31.08

New York Times columnist David Brooks likes The Race between Education and Technology, the new book by Allison professor of economics Lawrence F. Katz and Lee professor of economics Claudia Goldin.

American young adults today have more education than their parents—but the growth rate of educational attainment from one generation to the next has slowed significantly. And high-school graduation rates have actually declined since peaking at about 80 percent in the 1960s.

Brooks buys the argument Katz and Goldin make that this educational slowdown is behind widening income inequality and a sluggish economy in today's United States. He writes:

Why did the United States become the leading economic power of the 20th century? The best short answer is that a ferocious belief that people have the power to transform their own lives gave Americans an unparalleled commitment to education, hard work and economic freedom.

Read the rest of Brooks's column here; read more about Katz and Goldin's work in Unequal America, the cover story in the current issue of Harvard Magazine.