Bryan Caplan and Nassim Nicholas Taleb on What’s Missing in Education

It’s very hard now to argue against education when we know all the empirical data — if you want to have a few minutes to explain it, or let’s say, to convince — or have all the empirical data that at the individual level, education — and that’s how I’ve called them antifragile — education, it appears that it’s good for you because it’s a great way to transmit wealth to a generation, because your children are certain to stay in middle class if you educate them.

It’s a great way, but at the level of a country, it doesn’t seem to work. In fact, it’s the reverse kind of thing. Alison Wolf’s data.

Even more interesting that people think that by educating people they’re actually transmitting knowledge instead of technique because of places like Germany and Switzerland. These places had a very low level of formal education and a huge amount of apprenticeship, and a huge amount of built-in.

The complete discussion

Conversations with Tyler

42 thoughts on “Bryan Caplan and Nassim Nicholas Taleb on What’s Missing in Education

  1. I think I’d be considered well educated from an academics perspective (college + 2 masters, 1 an MBA from a top institution). Not saying this to brag, on the contrary, I learnt more finance (admittedly personal finance) from my reading. There is a lot of emphasis on labels in the current education system which doesn’t prepare people for actual work life or real life for that matter. I have started a blog to help people read the right books to self-educate in the absence of a complete overhaul of the education system (check it out at: It’d be a more fundamental solution to have schools that actually prepare people for life.

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  6. One should not miss education.
    Getting a good job is not an easy task. One has to work hard for it.
    Placement either occurs in good colleges or not.
    So how can we get the job?
    Internship is the other way round.
    It makes a staircase between the qualification and the job.
    From where can we get the internship? is a good platform.

  7. Nice post, yes you’re absolutely right it does impact students but at country level you’ve got to focus on formal education that’s how it is. Great, keep up the good work

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