A couple of years ago, an American academic by the name of James Bessen wrote a fascinating book called Learning by Doing: The Real Connection Between Innovation, Wages and Wealth. (It’s brilliant. Read it). It’s an examination of what happened to wages and productivity over the course of the industrial revolution, particularly in the crucial cotton mill industry. And the answer, it turns out, is that despite all the investment in capital which permitted vast jumps in labour productivity, in fact … [ Read More ]
This is my last thought on data for awhile, I promise. But I want to talk a little bit today about what we’re doing wrong with the increasing misuse of student and graduate surveys.
Back about 15 years ago, the relevant technology for email surveys became sufficiently cheap and ubiquitous that everyone started using them. I mean, everyone. So what has happened over the last decade and a half has been a proliferation of surveys and with it – surprise, … [ Read More ]
I’ve been hard on Statscan lately because of their mostly-inexcusable data collection practices. But every once in awhile the organization redeems itself. This week, that redemption takes the form of an Analytical Studies Branch research paper by Marc Frenette and Kristyn Frank entitled Do Postsecondary Graduates Land High-Skilled Jobs? The implications of this paper are pretty significant, but also nuanced and susceptible to over-interpretation. So let’s go over in detail what this paper’s about.
The key question Frenette & Frank … [ Read More ]
A couple of days ago, after looking at employment patterns among recent graduate using Ontario graduate survey data, I promised a look at broader youth labour market data. I now wish I hadn’t promised that because Statistics Canada’s CANSIM database is an ungodly mess and has got significantly worse since the last time I tried to use its data. Too little of the data on employment and income allows users to focus in by age *and* education level, and even … [ Read More ]
Everyone seems to be enjoying data on graduate outcomes, so I thought I’d keep the party going by looking at similar data from Ontario colleges. But first, some of you have written to me suggesting I should throw some caveats on what’s been covered so far. So let me get a few things out of the way.
First, I goofed when saying that there was no data on response rates from these surveys. Apparently there is and I just missed … [ Read More ]