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Cost Control, College Access, and Competition in Higher Education

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Cost Control, College Access, and Competition in Higher Education

9781843769538 Edward Elgar Publishing
Robert E. Martin, Emeritus Professor of Economics, Centre College, US
Publication Date: 2005 ISBN: 978 1 84376 953 8 Extent: 272 pp
Quality has never been more important for the future of higher education and the economy than it is today. Unfortunately, the decline in student quality is accompanied by costs that are out of control, a governance system that will not permit any reallocation of resources, and a society that expects higher education to address problems that are well beyond its core competencies. In this timely volume, Robert E. Martin presents a thorough treatment of the social contract between those who fund higher education and those who benefit from it.

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Quality has never been more important for the future of higher education and the economy than it is today. Unfortunately, the decline in student quality is accompanied by costs that are out of control, a governance system that will not permit any reallocation of resources, and a society that expects higher education to address problems that are well beyond its core competencies. In this timely volume, Robert E. Martin presents a thorough treatment of the social contract between those who fund higher education and those who benefit from it.

In-depth discussions include:

• the institution’s role as steward of the higher education social contract
• the role of transaction costs, risk bearing, production technology, and asset ownership in determining the internal structure of the institution
• the market for academic charities
• price, quality, and advertising competition in higher education.

Formal models of production and cost, optimal fundraising, the maximization of academic reputation, agency behavior, and the student's enrollment decision are also presented and analyzed.

Cost Control, College Access, and Competition in Higher Education will be of great interest to higher education researchers and administrators, economists, and public policymakers.
Critical Acclaim
‘This book is much more interesting, and more important, than its technical-sounding title might suggest. It combines rigorous economic analysis with thoughtful conclusions as to the public purposes and organisational priorities of higher education.’
– Paul Temple, Institute of Education, UK

‘The book provides an interesting blend of conceptual, theoretical, methodological and empirical aspects on costs of higher education that are key to understanding how higher education institutions operate. The author examines in detail the complexities involved in the application of principles of firms to academic institutions, such as pricing, cost functions, product functions, quality, product differentiation, subsidies, competition, technology, risk bearing, etc. The examination of how charity market works, the economic forces that explain the demand for and supply of endowment funds is quite insightful. By emphasizing the public good nature of higher education, the social purpose it serves, the principle of equality in higher education, the principle of social contract, erosion of public trust, etc., while addressing a broad set of standard issues in economics of higher education relating to costs and quality of higher education, the book indeed forms a special reading on the subject.’
– Jandhyala B.G. Tilak, Journal of Educational Planning and Administration
Contents
Contents: Foreword 1. The Social Contract 2. Foundations 3. Production and Cost 4. The Charity Market 5. An Enterprise Model 6. Price and Product Differentiation 7. College Access 8. Overview References Index
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