- Cafe Hayek - http://cafehayek.com -
Advocating More STEM Training Misses the Point
Posted By Don Boudreaux On October 29, 2012 @ 10:53 am In Complexity & Emergence,Education,Growth,Scientism,Seen and Unseen | Comments Disabled
Here’s a letter – obviously inspired by Deirdre McCloskey’s Bourgeois Dignity  – to the Washington Post:
You report that Mexico is now successful at producing lots of engineering graduates, but so far unsuccessful at employing this talent in ways that unleash substantial economic growth (“Mexico is now a top producer of engineers, but where are jobs? ” Oct. 29). Herein lies an important economic lesson: those who wish to promote genuine economic growth must more carefully distinguish cause from effect.
That the United States surpasses Mexico at employing engineering (and other) talents creatively and productively is an effect of America’s greater openness to competition and creative destruction, as well as of the fact that a significant number of Americans continue to admire and applaud the bourgeois virtues that fuel innovative commerce and industry. So in the U.S. the productive employment of engineers is less a root cause of America’s economic success than an effect of America’s underlying bourgeois-friendly institutions.
A successful modern economy does indeed productively use a large number of engineers, but the mere availability of a large number of engineers does not itself produce a successful modern economy.
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030
UPDATE: Completely coincidentally, my colleague Garett Jones has a related post today at EconLog . (HT Grieve Chelwa)
Article printed from Cafe Hayek: http://cafehayek.com
URL to article: http://cafehayek.com/2012/10/advocating-more-stem-training-misses-the-point.html
URLs in this post:
 Bourgeois Dignity: http://www.amazon.com/Bourgeois-Dignity-Economics-Explain-Modern/dp/0226556654/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1308794575&sr=1-1
 Mexico is now a top producer of engineers, but where are jobs?: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/mexico-is-now-a-top-producer-of-engineers-but-where-are-jobs/2012/10/28/902db93a-1e47-11e2-8817-41b9a7aaabc7_story.html
 Garett Jones has a related post today at EconLog: http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2012/10/did_nations_tha.html
 Image: http://www.blinklist.com/index.php?Action=Blink/addblink.php&Url=http%3A%2F%2Fcafehayek.com%2F2012%2F10%2Fadvocating-more-stem-training-misses-the-point.html&Title=Advocating%20More%20STEM%20Training%20Misses%20the%20Point
 Tweet: https://twitter.com/share
Copyright © 2011 CafeHayek.com. All rights reserved.