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The economics of universities in a new age of funding options

  • Just, Richard E.
  • Huffman, Wallace E.

The environment in which universities in the United States and some other countries operate has been changing, creating discussion of privatization of public universities. This paper examines the implications for US universities of greater access to royalties for federally funded, private-goods research, and reduced government grants or transfers to support public-goods research. Conditions under which increased private-goods research for out-of-state firms (developing patents and private market applications) leads to higher tuition and reductions in instruction and basic research are developed. The likely outcome is greater privatization of public universities, which may lead to a new public-private structure for what have been the leading US public research universities.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

Volume (Year): 38 (2009)
Issue (Month): 7 (September)
Pages: 1102-1116

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Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:38:y:2009:i:7:p:1102-1116
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol

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  1. McMillan, G. Steven & Narin, Francis & Deeds, David L., 2000. "An analysis of the critical role of public science in innovation: the case of biotechnology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-8, January.
  2. Richard R. Nelson, 2003. "The Market Economy, and the Scientific Commons," LEM Papers Series 2003/24, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  3. Khanna, J. & Huffman, Wallace & Sandler, T., 1994. "Agricultural Research Expenditures in the United States: A Public Goods Perspective," Staff General Research Papers 10994, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  4. Huffman, Wallace & Just, Richard E., 1998. "Setting Efficient Incentives for Agricultural Research: Lessons from Principal-Agent Theory," Staff General Research Papers 1389, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  5. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 1998. "The Shaping of Higher Education: The Formative Years in the United States, 1890 to 1940," NBER Working Papers 6537, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Huffman, Wallace E. & Evenson, Robert E., 2006. "Science for Agriculture: A Long Term Perspective," Staff General Research Papers 12362, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  7. Jaffe, Adam B., 2000. "The U.S. patent system in transition: policy innovation and the innovation process," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 531-557, April.
  8. Rebecca Henderson & Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg, 1998. "Universities As A Source Of Commercial Technology: A Detailed Analysis Of University Patenting, 1965-1988," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(1), pages 119-127, February.
  9. Huffman, Wallace, 1992. "Economic Principles and Incentives: Structure, Management, and Funding of Agricultural Research in the United States," Staff General Research Papers 10992, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  10. Marie Thursby & Richard Jensen, 2001. "Proofs and Prototypes for Sale: The Licensing of University Inventions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 240-259, March.
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