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The Americanization of European Higher Education and Research

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  • Borghans, Lex

    ()
    (Maastricht University)

  • Cörvers, Frank

    ()
    (ROA, Maastricht University)

Abstract

Over the past two decades there has been a substantial increase in the mobility of students in Europe, while also research has become much more internationally oriented. In this paper we document changes in the structure of research and higher education in Europe and investigate potential explanations for the strong increase in its international orientation. While higher education started to grow substantially around 1960, only a few decades later, research and higher education transformed gradually to the American standard. Decreased communication costs are likely causes for this trend. This transformation is most clearly revealed in the change of language used in research from the national language, Latin, German and French to English. Smaller language areas made this transformation earlier while there are also clear timing differences between research fields. Sciences and medicine tend to switch to English first, followed by economics and social sciences, while for law and arts only the first signs of such a transformation are currently observed. This suggests that returns to scale and the transferability of research results are important influences in the decision to adopt the international standard.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4445.

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Length: 63 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Charles T. Clotfelter (ed.), American Universities in a Global Market, NBER, 2010
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4445

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Keywords: Americanization; research; higher education;

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  1. Kirman, Alan & Dahl, Mogens, 1994. "Economic research in Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 505-522, April.
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  5. Ana Rute Cardoso & Paulo Guimarães & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2008. "Comparing the Early Research Performance of PhD Graduates in Labor Economics in Europe and the USA," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 760.08, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
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  7. J. Peter Neary & James A. Mirrlees & Jean Tirole, 2003. "Evaluating Economics Research in Europe: An Introduction," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 1(6), pages 1239-1249, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Ana Rute Cardoso & Paulo Guimar�es & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2010. "Trends in Economic Research: An International Perspective," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(4), pages 479-494, November.
  2. Dixon, Keith, 2013. "Growth and dispersion of accounting research about New Zealand before and during a National Research Assessment Exercise: Five decades of academic journals bibliometrics," MPRA Paper 51100, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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