Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Wages And Popularity

I enjoyed reading Freakonomics a few years ago and have since checked in on the eponymous blog occasionally. Reading this post about the correlation between popularity in high school and wage earnings in the future prompted me to validate the finding against my own experience.

Some of the most popular kids when I went to high school were the captain of the school's cricket team, the popular female lead in the annual theatrical production and so on. While academic excellence did make waves - the well-rounded kid was the one who was the most admired. I am not sure how our talented leading lady has fared in life but most of the other popular kids are doing fairly well.

The same rules however have not applied to popularity in engineering school (at least in my experience). Many of my peers who are doing very well in their careers today were virtually unknown names on campus. The stars of the day seem to have faded now. I had to wonder why the same rules don't apply for popularity in college. One commentator made just the point I have about this study.

I am surprised that the figure they calculated was only 2%. To me, this is more likely to reinforce the position that nothing about social life in high school really matters down the road.

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