November 04, 2003


French cooking then is a bit like higher education. The real thing is labour intensive and has got pricier over the years. And you can’t really substitute technology for the labour (e-learning) and get the same product. But, of course, people will pretend that you can and will try to pass of some shoddy substitute as the same as the good old stuff that everyone used to get. In fact, if they’re really shameless they’ll try to pass off what people get now as better ('those one-to-one tutorials are so twentieth century'). (And the other strategy: downward pressure on wages leading to recruitment pressures in the long-run is also a well known feature of university life).

-- Chris Bertram, Vaccum-packed cassoulet

Chris Bertram attributes the demise of traditional French home cooking to something called the "Baumol effect," and cites the decline in the quality of higher education by way of example.

Posted by Invisible Adjunct at November 4, 2003 10:04 PM

Maybe what we will soon have is a Zagat guide to colleges. There will be 5-star schools where students get small classes -- with Apertifs -- taught by actual professors etc., but there will also be schools akin to, say, Applebee's and The Olive Garden, "family fun restaurants," where they serve the academic equivalent of McDishes albeit dressed up a bit with some fresh Parsely and a bit of Olive Oil.

Posted by: Chris at November 5, 2003 10:16 AM