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American Universities in a Global Market

In higher education, the United States is the preeminent global leader, dominating the list of the world’s top research universities. But there are signs that America’s position of global leadership will face challenges in the future, as it has in other realms of international competition. American Universities in a Global Market addresses the variety of issues crucial to understanding this preeminence and this challenge. The book examines the various factors that contributed to America’s success in higher education, including openness to people and ideas, generous governmental support, and a tradition of decentralized friendly competition. It also explores the advantages of holding a dominant position in this marketplace and examines the current state of American higher education in a comparative context, placing particular emphasis on how market forces affect universities. By discussing the differences in quality among students and institutions around the world, this volume sheds light on the singular aspects of American higher education.

512 pages | 72 line drawings, 85 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2010

National Bureau of Economic Research Conference Report

Economics and Business: Economics--International and Comparative

Education: Higher Education


"What would happen if you took a collection of rock-star economists . . . and turned them loose on the hot topic of university globalization? You’d get the closest thing to beach reading for higher ed wonks likely to come out of the National Bureau of Economic Research for some time, a rigorous, wide-ranging, and deeply impressive new volume."

Chronicle of Higher Education

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments


Charles T. Clotfelter

I. Storm Clouds for American Higher Education?

1. Is the United States Losing Its Preeminence in Higher Education?

James D. Adams

2. To Be or Not to Be: Major Choices in Budding Scientists

Eric Bettinger

II. Universities as Firms in a Global Market

3. Coming to America: Where Do International Doctorate Students Study and How Do US Universities Respond?

John Bound and Sarah Turner

4. The Economics of University Science and the Role of Foreign Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars

Grant C. Black and Paula E. Stephan

5. Universities as Firms: The Case of US Overseas Programs

E. Han Kim and Min Zhu

III. Emulation and Competition Abroad

6. The Structure of European Higher Education in the Wake of the Bologna Reforms

Ofer Malamud

7. The Americanization of European Higher Education and Research

Lex Borghans and Frank Cörvers

8. Higher Education in China: Complement or Competition to US Universities?

Haizheng Li

9. Indian Higher Education

Devesh Kapur

10. From Brain Drain to Brain Competition: Changing Opportunities and the Career Patterns of US- Trained Korean Academics

Sunwoong Kim

IV. Looking Ahead

11. What Does Global Expansion of Higher Education Mean for the United States?

Richard B. Freeman


Author Index

Subject Index

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