an unanticipated consequence of
Jack M. Balkin
Jack Balkin: jackbalkin at yahoo.com
Bruce Ackerman bruce.ackerman at yale.edu
Ian Ayres ian.ayres at yale.edu
Mary Dudziak mary.l.dudziak at emory.edu
Joey Fishkin joey.fishkin at gmail.com
Heather Gerken heather.gerken at yale.edu
Abbe Gluck abbe.gluck at yale.edu
Mark Graber mgraber at law.umaryland.edu
Stephen Griffin sgriffin at tulane.edu
Bernard Harcourt harcourt at uchicago.edu
Scott Horton shorto at law.columbia.edu
Andrew Koppelman akoppelman at law.northwestern.edu
Marty Lederman marty.lederman at comcast.net
Sanford Levinson slevinson at law.utexas.edu
David Luban david.luban at gmail.com
Gerard Magliocca gmaglioc at iupui.edu
Jason Mazzone mazzonej at illinois.edu
Linda McClain lmcclain at bu.edu
John Mikhail mikhail at law.georgetown.edu
Frank Pasquale pasquale.frank at gmail.com
Nate Persily npersily at gmail.com
Michael Stokes Paulsen michaelstokespaulsen at gmail.com
Deborah Pearlstein dpearlst at princeton.edu
Rick Pildes rick.pildes at nyu.edu
Alice Ristroph alice.ristroph at shu.edu
Neil Siegel siegel at law.duke.edu
Brian Tamanaha btamanaha at wulaw.wustl.edu
Mark Tushnet mtushnet at law.harvard.edu
Adam Winkler winkler at ucla.edu
Simkovic's Response to Tamanaha on "The Economic Value of a Law Degree"
Michael Simkovic has posted his first two responses to Brian Tamanaha's post from yesterday. Here are some highlights of the first response:
Brian Tamanaha previously told Inside Higher Education that our research only looked at average earnings premiums and did not consider the low end of the distribution. Dylan Matthews at the Washington Post reported that Professor Tamanaha’s description of our research was “false.”
Tamanaha’s description of our approach to ability sorting constitutes a gross misreading of our research. Tamanaha also references the wrong chart for earnings premium trends and misinterprets confidence intervals. And his description of our present value calculations is way off the mark.
The second response addresses Tamanaha's accusations that the paper cherrypicks years to study:
SIPP was substantially redesigned in 1996 to increase sample size and improve data quality. Combining different versions of SIPP could have introduced methodological problems.
Though the paper's window misses a legal recession in the early 1990s, some commenters have noted that it also misses a boom in the 1980s. But the critical point here is that Simkovic & McIntyre focus on the earnings premium from a law degree, not absolute figures. The brutality of recessions for the lower and lower middle classes may well increase that premium, not dent it.
Today's post indicates that Tamanaha may be beginning to confine his economic critique to Thomas Jefferson, New York Law School, California Western, and "others like" them. He may also want to reconsider his criticism of income-based repayment as an improper subsidy, given that "CBO estimates that the government will generate $184
billion in profit for new loans made this fiscal year through 2023." If anything, IBR terms should be better than they are now for law students. Those who speculate about their lack of earning power or unwillingness to pay may well provoke banks and policymakers to raise interest rates and impose harsher terms.