There’s been a dearth of literature on the ridiculous real cost of college, and how government subsidies are fueling the increases. This week, the Priceonomics blog tackles this issue with the some hard numbers:

Known as the Bennett hypothesis after President Reagan’s Secretary of Education William Bennett, who prominently proposed it in a New York Times article entitled “Our Greedy Colleges,” it suggests that Federal Pell Grants and subsidized student loans are not just helping students afford tuition increases, but actually fueling them as well[…]

This intuitive story – of colleges in a spending race with each other to garner prestige and attract the best students, with government subsidies fueling the race and allowing all schools to participate – is not the only factor or theory for why costs have increased.