Hungary could double its GDP with better a better educational system, states Eric Hanushek. The world-renown economist states that in Hungary children who have not acquired universal basic skills at an early age will have an especially difficult time on the job market.
Eric Hanushek, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University thinks that Hungary could double its GDP. The economist advocates for using economic analysis to improve educational measures. Mr. Hanushek gave a lecture on Education in a Changing World in the Grand Lecture Hall of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, which was reviewed by qubit.hu.
In a recent paper, Hanushek and his fellow researchers used micro-data from international and regional achievement tests to put children’s performance on the common PISA scale used by the OECD.
Their conclusion is that at least two-thirds of the world’s youth do not reach basic skill levels at the age of 15. This number in Hungary is 28%.
“In the EU, if everyone achieved at least the PISA baseline, it would mean 1.8 times the growth of GDP, and in Hungary, according to my calculations, it would mean doubling GDP” – said Mr. Hanushek.
Although the 28% is not terrible and is comparable with the results of the United States, the economy of the US still grows much faster than in Hungary.
“We are borrowing educated people from the world. Silicon Valley employs Hungarians, Indians, and Chinese; people who got their education in other countries. But we create a supportive environment that makes it worth coming to work here.” According to Mr. Hanushek, similar patterns or a will to make the country appear more favourable to workers are not visible.
Hungarian youth face another problem after entering the job market without the necessary skill. The Hungarian economic landscape ‘punishes’ those who do not reach basic skills.
“Those without skills earn much less than those at the same skill level in other OECD countries” – said Hanushek, citing data from the International Programme for the Assessment of Adult Ability and Competence, PIAAC.
The professor outlined a rather simple solution to improve Hungarian education.
“More effective teachers who educate more effective children should be paid more because if you keep teachers’ salaries low, you won’t have good teachers.” Mr. Hanushek illustrated this with Finland, where “young people with very good skills” go to become teachers.
“In Hungary, for example, I hear there is a shortage of maths teachers. Then I would say, as an economist, pay them more, and then you will have maths teachers.”
The best answer is to remove Govts from education.
This is not a Hungarian problem its a western problem.