TOPICS > Economy

Why Does Yale Cost $55,000 a Year?

BY Paul Solman  June 9, 2011 at 4:20 PM EDT

Over the years, we’ve interviewed Bob Shiller in a go-kart on the Jersey shore, on a cable car climbing the hills of San Francisco, at a failed condo project in Atlanta, Georgia.

Recently, we caught up with Shiller closer to home – outside the admissions office at Yale University, where he’s taught economics since 1982. Given our joint history of off-beat interview elements, he suggested we waylay a Yale campus tour guide and group – to get their take on inflation. One soon materialized. It happened to be a tour FOR tour guides; a seasoned undergrad chaperone taking her newly recruited charges on a dry run.

So when touring parents ask why Yale costs $55,000 a year these days, what are the guides supposed to answer? And how, Bob Shiller, do you explain why the inflation rate of going to college is many times that of the overall consumer price index?

Watch the video or listen to the audio.

[http://www.pbs.org/newshour/video/rundown_blog/20110609_Yale_AUDIO.mp3]

Video edited by Elizabeth Shell.