Many MBA programs have been criticized as offering little educational value. Often, the faculty members have scant business experience themselves, but are just academics who preach theories about business. That’s bad enough, given the high cost of obtaining the credential, but there is good reason to think that at least some profs are teaching utterly false notions. For example, the idea that when government mandates higher costs, that’s actually good because it then forces management to become more efficient.

In the letter below, Professor Don Boudreaux skewers one such academic scribbler:

Editor, Wall Street Journal
1211 6th Ave.
New York, NY 10036

Dear Editor:

In your report on Pres. Obama’s proposal to force more workers to accept as part of their employment contracts greater eligibility for overtime pay, you quote Sloan School of Management professor Thomas Kochan saying that such a government-imposed mandate “helps drive up productivity” by leading “management to look for more efficient ways of doing their business” (“Overtime Rules Send Bosses Scrambling,” July 21).

Wow. One wonders what’s being taught at business schools such as Sloan. If Prof. Kochan is correct that managers throughout the country must be coerced by government – which is manned chiefly by people with J.D.s and not MBAs – to run their firms more efficiently, the value of a business-school education must be quite low. Do such schools teach their students even less about how to efficiently run businesses than is taught to students in law schools? Apparently so.

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics