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In response to my post "Economist Kern Alexander Explains the Problem with School Choice" [Hake (2013)] "Haim," in his MathEdCC post, wrote (slightly edited):
"Kern Alexander, according to his Univ. of Illinois faculty profile at <http://bit.ly/TBlx14> has an Ed.D. in Educational Administration from Indiana University in 1965; a diploma in Educational Studies (with distinction) with two dissertations from Oxford University, Pembroke College <http://bit.ly/YyZiYG>, 1977. KERN ALEXANDER IS NOT AN ECONOMIST. . . . [[my CAPS]] . . . . ."
To which GS Chandy, after listing some of Alexander's interests and qualifications reported at <http://bit.ly/TBlx14>, replied: "I believe [his interests and qualifications] indicate that Professor Alexander probably has considerably more right to describe himself as an 'economist' than has Haim to pronounce on his economics or lack thereof."
Well said, GS Chandy, except that, as far as I know: (a) Kern Alexander has never publicly described himself as an economist (nor does Wikipedia <http://bit.ly/VCD4V4>, nor does the Univ. of Illinois <http://bit.ly/TBlx14>); (b) it was Diane Ravitch (2013) who applied the adjective "economist" to Kern Alexander in her blog entry "An Economist Explains the Problem with Choice."
I think Ravitch was right in her designation, despite the protestations of "Haim."
My online dictionary tells me that an economist is "an expert in economics," and that economics is "the branch of knowledge concerned with the production, consumption, and transfer of wealth." Amazon.com lists at <http://amzn.to/11ikQ0V> six books by Alexander, three with titles "Public School Finance," "Education and Economic Growth," and "Economic Sanctions, " suggesting that the books concern "the production, consumption, and transfer of wealth." Therefore I think Alexander qualifies to be classed as an economist, even though he has an Ed.D. and (evidently) no formal degree in economics.
Furthermore, my abstract clearly shows that Kern Alexander addresses the problem of school choice from an *economic* standpoint. My abstract begins:
################################ ABSTRACT: Diane Ravitch (2013) in her blog entry "An Economist Explains the Problem with Choice" at <http://bit.ly/11r9xCJ> has pointed to Kern Alexander's "Asymmetric Information, Parental Choice, Vouchers, Charter Schools and Stiglitz" at <http://bit.ly/XuBB2u>. Alexander wrote:
************************** The story goes that tuition voucher schools and charter schools are creatures of the spirit of capitalism and that public funding of them will increase competition, making all schools more efficient and academically better, especially public schools. For that theory to work it is hypothesized that parents as "rational people will make choices as to the education of their children in perfect markets." In the realm of economics, this reasoning is called the "rational expectations hypothesis" or the "efficient markets hypothesis" - see "The Myth of the Rational Market"[Fox (2011, p. 178)] at <http://amzn.to/Wd4ukl>. ************************** ################################
"There is no such thing as economics, only social science applied to economic problems." - Kenneth Boulding
REFERENCES [URLs shortened by http://bit.ly/ and accessed on 04 Feb 2013.] Alexander, K. 2012. "Asymmetric Information, Parental Choice, Vouchers, Charter Schools and Stiglitz," Journal of Education Finance, Fall; online at <http://bit.ly/XuBB2u>.
Brock, J. 2011. Review of Fox (2011), International Review of Economics Education 10(1): 130-132; online as a 139 kB pdf at <http://bit.ly/Wd5lRY>. Brock wrote: "The book is a masterfully documented and engaging history of the rise and the fall of the efficient market hypothesis (EMH). The history spans from the early 20th Century insights of mathematician Louis Bachelier and economist Irving Fisher to the recent sparring among economists - notably the University of Chicago's Eugene Fama and Dick Thaler.
Chandy, GS. 2013. "Re: Economist Kern Alexander Explains the Problem with School Choice," online on the OPEN MathEdCC archives at <http://bit.ly/XjHNJ3>. Post of 03 Feb 3 11:58 PM (the MathForum fails to specify he time zone).
Fox, J. 2011. "The Myth of the Rational Market: A History of Risk, Reward, and Delusion on Wall Street." Harper Business, publisher's information at <http://bit.ly/WHVh1T>. Amazon.com information at <http://amzn.to/Wd4ukl> note the searchable "Look Inside" feature. For reviews see Brock (2011) and Krugman (2009).
"Haim." 2013. "Re: Economist Kern Alexander Explains the Problem with School Choice," online on the OPEN MathEdCC archives at <http://bit.ly/UlsV2a>. Post of 03 Feb 12:36 AM (the MathForum fails to specify he time zone).
Hake, R.R. 2013. "Economist Kern Alexander Explains the Problem with School Choice," online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at <http://bit.ly/WIdRH5>. Post of 02 Feb 2013 13:00:30-0800 to AERA-L and Net-Gold. The abstract and link to the complete post are being transmitted to several discussion lists and are also on my blog "Hake'sEdStuff" at <http://bit.ly/We8IrV> with a provision for comments.
Krugman, P. 2009. "School for Scoundrels," review of Fox (2011), New York Times Book Review, online at <http://nyti.ms/WdJbiq>. Krugman wrote: "Do we really need yet another book about the financial crisis? Yes, we do - because this one is different. Instead of focusing on the errors and abuses of the bankers, Fox, the business and economics columnist for Time magazine, tells the story of the professors who enabled those abuses under the banner of the financial theory known as the efficient-market hypothesis. Fox's book is not an idle exercise in intellectual history, which makes it a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the mess we're in. Wall Street bought the ideas of the efficient-market theorists, in many cases literally: professors were lavishly paid to design complex financial strategies. And these strategies played a crucial role in the catastrophe that has now overtaken the world economy."