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Charles N. Steele

A couple of points... If this Rivera is right -- and she might well be -- then these top firms must be under-performing compared to what they would be if they hired by merit (unless they are involved in rent-seeking scams where connections rather than productivity matter). Simultaneously the more-capable graduates from non-elite schools are underpriced, so non-elite firms that hire them should be doing especially well as a result.

It would be hard to empirically test this, but it seems to me this is what Rivera's argument implies.

Second point: if so, it should be possible to bid the capable grads from non-elite schools away from their current underemployment and come out ahead. (Maybe this is what headhunters are doing.) Do you agree?

John Pepple

I definitely agree, though I hadn't thought that far ahead. I had merely thought that it wouldn't be very smart to use these companies since they didn't seem to stress actual abilities very much.

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