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University decision making and prestige: An empirical study

  • Cyrenne, Philippe
  • Grant, Hugh

In this paper, we examine the factors that influence the reputation or prestige of universities. We first develop a model of university behaviour which indicates how the decisions made by university officials would be chosen in order to maximize their respective reputations. In doing so, we assume that reputation is enhanced by the quality of students produced, the caliber of research and the service provided to the community in terms of the provision of publicly funded education services. We argue that the relative weights placed on these intermediate outputs may vary by university type as well as the means of producing them. Using the results of the reputational survey - a ranking of the institution in terms of reputation - conducted as part of the Canadian magazine Maclean's overall ranking exercise, we then estimate an Error Correction--Ordered Probit Model of the rankings of Canadian universities to determine the factors that influence the change in reputation or "prestige" of the university as viewed by the external community. We find evidence that the change in reputation of a university is based on what might be considered the appropriate "signals" that one might use in estimating the respective quality of the institution given the respective differences in mission.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

Volume (Year): 28 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 237-248

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:28:y:2009:i:2:p:237-248
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

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  1. Ehrenberg, R.G.Ronald G., 2004. "Econometric studies of higher education," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 19-37.
  2. Cohn, Elchanan & Rhine, Sherrie L W & Santos, Maria C, 1989. "Institutions of Higher Education as Multi-product Firms: Economies of Scale and Scope," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(2), pages 284-90, May.
  3. Sophia Rabe-Hesketh & Anders Skrondal & Andrew Pickles, 2004. "GLLAMM Manual," U.C. Berkeley Division of Biostatistics Working Paper Series 1160, Berkeley Electronic Press.
  4. Alogoskoufis, George & Smith, Ron, 1991. " On Error Correction Models: Specification, Interpretation, Estimation," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(1), pages 97-128.
  5. Mora, Nada, 2006. "Sovereign credit ratings: Guilty beyond reasonable doubt?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(7), pages 2041-2062, July.
  6. Rothschild, Michael & White, Lawrence J, 1995. "The Analytics of the Pricing of Higher Education and Other Services in Which the Customers Are Inputs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(3), pages 573-86, June.
  7. Gordon C. Winston, 1999. "Subsidies, Hierarchy and Peers: The Awkward Economics of Higher Education," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(1), pages 13-36, Winter.
  8. Rabe-Hesketh, Sophia & Skrondal, Anders & Pickles, Andrew, 2005. "Maximum likelihood estimation of limited and discrete dependent variable models with nested random effects," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 128(2), pages 301-323, October.
  9. Charles T. Clotfelter, 1996. "Buying the Best: Cost Escalation in Elite Higher Education," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number clot96-1, May.
  10. Mueller, Richard E. & Rockerbie, Duane, 2005. "Determining demand for university education in Ontario by type of student," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 469-483, August.
  11. Qi Kong & Michael R. Veall, 2005. "Does the Maclean's Ranking Matter?," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 31(3), pages 231-242, September.
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