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Economic Challenges in Higher Education

The last two decades have been a turbulent period for American higher education, with profound demographic shifts, gyrating salaries, and marked changes in the economy. While enrollments rose about 50% in that period, sharp increases in tuition and fees at colleges and universities provoke accusations of inefficiency, even outright institutional greed and irresponsibility. As the 1990s progress, surpluses in the academic labor supply may give way to shortages in many fields, but will there be enough new Ph.D.’s to go around?

Drawing on the authors’ experience as economists and educators, this book offers an accessible analysis of three crucial economic issues: the growth and composition of undergraduate enrollments, the supply of faculty in the academic labor market, and the cost of operating colleges and universities. The study provides valuable insights for administrators and scholars of education.

432 pages | 136 tables, 25 figures | 6 x 9 | © 1991

National Bureau of Economic Research Monograph

Economics and Business: Economics--Development, Growth, Planning

Education: Education--Economics, Law, Politics

Table of Contents

Part I - Demand for Undergraduate Education
Charles T. Clotfelter
1. Size and Significance
2. Patterns of Enrollment and Completion
3. Explaining the Demand
4. Financial Aid and Public Policy
5. Implications of Recent Enrollment
Part II - Academic Labor Supply
Ronald G. Ehrenberg
6. Projections of Shortages
7. A Stock Flow Model of Academic Labor Supply
8. Decisions to Undertake and Complete Doctoral Study and Choices of Sector of Employment
9. The Demographic Distribution of American Doctorates
10. Should Policies Be Pursued to Increase the Flow of New Doctorates?
Part III - Costs and Productivity in American Colleges and Universities
Malcolm Getz and John J. Siegfried
11. Cost Inflation
12. Where Does the Money Go?
13. Costs and Enrollment
14. Costs per Student over Time
Author Index
Subject Index

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