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Endowment Management Based on a Positive Model of the University

In: How the Financial Crisis and Great Recession Affected Higher Education

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  • Caroline M. Hoxby

Abstract

I propose a positive model of the university that generates many apparently peculiar features of universities such as endowments and tuition subsidies. The model proposes a specific objective function: a university maximizes its contribution to the intellectual capital of society, valued at social returns. The objective function is enforced within the model–that is, it leads to actions that reinforce the initial selection of the objective function. Endowments also arise naturally within the model: they are a necessary feature of certain universities, not an accident. The model has important implications for the decisions that universities should make on many fronts, but I focus on the implications for financial decisions, especially universities' endowment spending rules and portfolio allocations. The model is designed to explain America's great private research universities and very selective liberal arts colleges and–with modest adaptations–institutions like America's and Britain's great public research universities. Indeed, a ancillary benefit of the model is that it provides a justification for existence of the aforementioned institutions by assigning them a unique role in the creation of the world's intellectual capital.

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This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 12856.

Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:12856

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  1. Eisner, Robert, 1974. "Endowment Income, Capital Gains and Inflation Accounting: Discussion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 438-41, May.
  2. Litvack, James M & Malkiel, Burton G & Quandt, Richard E, 1974. "A Plan for the Definition of Endowment Income," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 433-37, May.
  3. Nichols, Donald A, 1974. "The Investment Income Formula of the American Economic Association," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 420-26, May.
  4. Josh Lerner & Antoinette Schoar & Jialan Wang, 2008. "Secrets of the Academy: The Drivers of University Endowment Success," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(3), pages 207-22, Summer.
  5. Bergemann, D. & Hege, U., 1997. "Venture Capital Financing, Moral Hazard and Learning," Discussion Paper 1997-108, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  6. Catherine Casamatta, 2003. "Financing and Advising: Optimal Financial Contracts with Venture Capitalists," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(5), pages 2059-2086, October.
  7. Steven N. Kaplan & Per Stromberg, 2003. "Financial Contracting Theory Meets the Real World: An Empirical Analysis of Venture Capital Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(2), pages 281-315, 04.
  8. Rafael Repullo & Javier Suarez, 2004. "Venture Capital Finance: A Security Design Approach," Review of Finance, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 75-108.
  9. Jeffrey R. Brown & Stephen G. Dimmock & Scott Weisbenner, 2012. "The Supply of and Demand for Charitable Donations to Higher Education," NBER Working Papers 18389, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Berglof, Erik, 1994. "A Control Theory of Venture Capital Finance," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 247-67, October.
  11. Jeffrey Brown & Stephen G. Dimmock & Jun-Koo Kang & Scott Weisbenner, 2010. "How University Endowments Respond to Financial Market Shocks: Evidence and Implications," NBER Working Papers 15861, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Richard C. Grinold & David S.P. Hopkins & William F. Massy, 1978. "A Model for Long-Range University Budget Planning under Uncertainty," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 396-420, Autumn.
  13. Sahlman, William A., 1990. "The structure and governance of venture-capital organizations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 473-521, October.
  14. Tobin, James, 1974. "What Is Permanent Endowment Income?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 427-32, May.
  15. Gorman, Michael & Sahlman, William A., 1989. "What do venture capitalists do?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 231-248, July.
  16. Stephen G. Dimmock, 2012. "Background Risk and University Endowment Funds," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(3), pages 789-799, August.
  17. Steven N. Kaplan & Per Str�mberg, 2003. "Financial Contracting Theory Meets the Real World: An Empirical Analysis of Venture Capital Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 281-315.
  18. Trester, Jeffrey J., 1998. "Venture capital contracting under asymmetric information," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(6-8), pages 675-699, August.
  19. Hansmann, Henry, 1990. "Why Do Universities Have Endowments?," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 3-42, January.
  20. Brown, Keith C. & Garlappi, Lorenzo & Tiu, Cristian, 2010. "Asset allocation and portfolio performance: Evidence from university endowment funds," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 268-294, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Caroline Hoxby, 2014. "The Economics Of Online Postsecondary Education: MOOCs, Nonselective Education, And Highly Selective Education," Discussion Papers 13-024, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  2. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2014. "The Economics of Online Postsecondary Education: MOOCs, Nonselective Education, and Highly Selective Education," NBER Working Papers 19816, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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