Marshall Steinbaum

Marshall Steinbaum speaks at the Jain Family Institute

On Friday, we welcomed Marshall Steinbaum to discuss his paper cowritten with Julie Margetta Morgan titled “The Student Debt Crisis, Labor Market Credentialization, and Racial Inequality: How the Current Student Debt Debate Gets the Economics Wrong.” Read it here.

A few key points: First, Steinbaum explained a common misconception: “There’s an assumption that the skills gap is the problem. You can’t understand this crisis if you don’t understand that that whole paradigm is incorrect.” Second, a point from the paper: “The population as a whole became more educated, but those incremental increases in education resulted only in lower earnings for each educational attainment group … [a] going-up-the-down-escalator dynamic.” Third, Steinbaum emphasized that many totally misunderstand the phenomenon of non-repayment of student debt. “If a population isn’t repaying, it’s a sign they’re especially burdened, not that they’re not burdened.”