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Education as advertisement

Abstract

The paper perceives education as a type of money burning activity, much like advertisement, and examines its effect on social welfare. In a model where the employer's job assignment also functions as a signal a la Waldman (1984), there exists a separating equilibrium in which education credibly conveys information even when the single-crossing property fails to hold. Moreover, we also show that education as advertisement can actually be welfare-improving. This result indicates that education can be meaningful and even socially desirable even if its sole role is simply to waste resources.

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