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Leisure College, Usa

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  • Babcock, Phillip
  • Marks, Mindy

Abstract

In 1961, the average full-time student at a 4-year college in the U.S. studied about 24 hours per week, while his modern counterpart puts in only 14 hours a week. Students now study less than half as much as universities claim to require. This dramatic decline in study times occurred for students from all demographic subgroups, overall and within every major, for students who worked and those who did not, and at 4-year colleges of every type, degree structure and level of selectivity. Most of the decline predates the innovations in technology that would be most relevant to education production, and thus was not driven by such changes. The most plausible explanation for these findings, we conclude, is that standards have fallen at post-secondary institutions in the United States.

Suggested Citation

  • Babcock, Phillip & Marks, Mindy, 2010. "Leisure College, Usa," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt1zd0q0vn, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucsbec:qt1zd0q0vn
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Philip Babcock & Mindy Marks, 2011. "The Falling Time Cost of College: Evidence from Half a Century of Time Use Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 468-478, May.
    2. Stinebrickner Ralph & Stinebrickner Todd R., 2008. "The Causal Effect of Studying on Academic Performance," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-55, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Darren Grant & William Green, 2013. "Grades as incentives," Empirical Economics, Springer, pages 1563-1592.
    2. Brint, Steven & Cantwell, Allison, 2012. "Portrait Of The Disengaged," University of California at Berkeley, Center for Studies in Higher Education qt6c64z6kc, Center for Studies in Higher Education, UC Berkeley.
    3. BeblavĂ˝, Miroslav & Teteryatnikova, Mariya & Thum, Anna-Elisabeth, 2015. "Does the growth in higher education mean a decline in the quality of degrees?," CEPS Papers 10258, Centre for European Policy Studies.
    4. John Bailey Jones & Fang Yang, 2016. "Skill-Biased Technical Change and the Cost of Higher Education," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(3), pages 621-662.
    5. Avdic, Daniel & Gartell, Marie, 2015. "Working while studying? Student aid design and socioeconomic achievement disparities in higher education," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 26-40.

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