Economic exchange

June 25, 1999

The exchange between economists David de Meza and Neil Kay (Letters, THES, June 11, 18) contains stuff that is relevant to the world in which we live, but how are most readers supposed to recognise what it is? Who are the marginal graduate employees and is their employment useless, as "no net gain" seems to suggest? The appropriation of familiar words for less familiar usage in mainstream economic analysis confuses things further. A clear focus instead on what opportunity cost really implies in higher education could have identified a crucial aspect of the debate about who is to pay what for it, an aspect about which most people could express a view.

Stephen Heasell Department of economics and politics, Nottingham Trent University

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