Credentialism in Pakistan

Via Isaac Chotiner, Adam Ellick reports on allegations that many Pakistani officials have faked their degrees:

Politicians have shown remarkable chutzpah in rejecting the charges of dishonesty over meeting a parliamentary requirement of a bachelor’s degree.

“A degree is a degree,” said Nawab Aslam Raisani, the chief minister of Baluchistan Province and an ally of President Asif Ali Zardari. “Whether fake or genuine, it’s a degree. It makes no difference.”

Obviously that says something about the mentality of the Pakistani elite. At the same time, it also seems to highlight the fact that this requirement of a bachelor’s degree is perhaps a misguided idea that’s doing more to create incentives for fraud than to raise the educational level.



Incidentally, while I liked this story a lot, today’s NYT piece about how in Pakistan there’s a lot of inequality and the tax code is inadequately redistributive seems a bit silly. That’s just like America!