WHY does a case for economics need to be made in the first place? Surely economics is the foundation discipline for studies in business, finance, accounting and related fields. Acknowledged as the queen of the social sciences, the scientific community recognises the value of the discipline with the award of Nobel Prizes.
Earlier this year the Grattan Institute published Graduate Winners, a report which suggested that government subsidies for tertiary education should be cut, given the already strong incentives to pursue higher education, and the low net public benefits that students of certain disciplines accord to society.
To paraphrase, the private benefits that a person gains from attending university, for example, their future income as compared to someone without tertiary qualifications, is large enough to motivate higher education, even if today’s government subsidies were cut. Therefore students should pay more for their tertiary studies. Government subsidies for higher education therefore seem somewhat redundant when an ample incentive already exists for students to undertake further study.