Higher Ed Tuition Bubble UpdatePosted: February 14, 2012
The drumbeat continues: MIT launches free onine “fully automated” course. Aside from the fact that these innovations have major implications for the livelihoods of my friends and I, the economics are interesting per se.
With the elimination of capacity constraints on the distribution side, will brick-and-mortar education providers go the way of Blockbuster and Borders? The market does not like brick-and-morter. It is inefficient – costly and inconvenient.
What happens when one professor can serve the entire market? Will superstars play an even larger role in academia? Will there be a market for top researchers (scarce) or good teachers (less so)? The same question holds at the institution level. Will everyone get a degree (and work for) HBS one day?
UPDATE: Megan McArdle provides a more thoughtful essay on this event at the Atlantic.