IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/oup/ecpoli/v25y2010i61p7-59..html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The governance and performance of universities: evidence from Europe and the US
[Distance to frontier, selection, and economic growth]

Author

Listed:
  • Philippe Aghion
  • Mathias Dewatripont
  • Caroline Hoxby
  • Andreu Mas-Colell
  • André Sapir

Abstract

We test the hypothesis that universities are more productive when they are both more autonomous and face more competition. Using survey data, we construct indices of university autonomy and competition for both Europe and the United States. We show that there are strong positive correlations between these indices and multiple measures of university output. To obtain causal evidence, we investigate exogenous shocks to US universities’ expenditures over three decades. These shocks arise through the political appointment process, which we use to generate instrumental variables. We find that an exogenous increase in a university’s expenditure generates more output, measured by either patents or publications, if the university is more autonomous and faces more competition. Exploiting variation over time in the ‘stakes’ of competitions for US federal research grants, we also find that universities generate more output for a given expenditure when research competitions are high stakes. We draw lessons, arguing that European universities could benefit from a combination of greater autonomy and greater accountability. Greater accountability might come through increased reliance on competitive grants, enhanced competition for students and faculty (promoted by reforms that increase mobility), and yardstick competitions (which often take the form of assessment exercises).— Philippe Aghion, Mathias Dewatripont, Caroline Hoxby, Andreu Mas-Colell and André Sapir

Suggested Citation

  • Philippe Aghion & Mathias Dewatripont & Caroline Hoxby & Andreu Mas-Colell & André Sapir, 2010. "The governance and performance of universities: evidence from Europe and the US [Distance to frontier, selection, and economic growth]," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 25(61), pages 7-59.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecpoli:v:25:y:2010:i:61:p:7-59.
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1468-0327.2009.00238.x
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bronwyn H. Hall & Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg, 2001. "The NBER Patent Citation Data File: Lessons, Insights and Methodological Tools," NBER Working Papers 8498, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Sapir, Andre & Aghion, Philippe & Bertola, Giuseppe & Hellwig, Martin & Pisani-Ferry, Jean & Rosati, Dariusz & Vinals, Jose & Wallace, Helen, 2004. "An Agenda for a Growing Europe: The Sapir Report," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199271498.
    3. James D. Adams, 2002. "Comparative localization of academic and industrial spillovers," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(3), pages 253-278, July.
    4. Thursby, Jerry & Fuller, Anne W. & Thursby, Marie, 2009. "US faculty patenting: Inside and outside the university," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 14-25, February.
    5. Masters, Nicholas A., 1961. "Committee Assignments in the House of Representatives," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 55(2), pages 345-357, June.
    6. André Sapir & Philippe Aghion & Mathias Dewatripont & Caroline Hoxby & Andreu Mas-Colell, 2007. "Why reform Europe's universities," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/8100, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    7. Manfred M. Fischer & Attila Varga, 2003. "Spatial knowledge spillovers and university research: Evidence from Austria," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 37(2), pages 303-322, May.
    8. Rohde, David W. & Shepsle, Kenneth A., 1973. "Democratic Committee Assignments in the House of Representatives: Strategic Aspects of a Social Choice Process," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 67(3), pages 889-905, September.
    9. Gawthrop, Louis C., 1966. "Changing Membership Patterns in House Committees," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(2), pages 366-373, June.
    10. Anselin, Luc & Varga, Attila & Acs, Zoltan, 1997. "Local Geographic Spillovers between University Research and High Technology Innovations," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 422-448, November.
    11. Jaffe, Adam B, 1989. "Real Effects of Academic Research," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 957-970, December.
    12. A. Abigail Payne, 2003. "The Effects of Congressional Appropriation Committee Membership on the Distribution of Federal Research Funding to Universities," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(2), pages 325-345, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Philippe Aghion & Mathias Dewatripont & Caroline M. Hoxby & Andreu Mas-Colell & André Sapir, 2009. "The Governance and Performance of Research Universities: Evidence from Europe and the U.S," NBER Working Papers 14851, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Szücs, Florian, 2018. "Research subsidies, industry–university cooperation and innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(7), pages 1256-1266.
    3. Andersson, Roland & Quigley, John M. & Wilhelmsson, Mats, 2009. "Urbanization, productivity, and innovation: Evidence from investment in higher education," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 2-15, July.
    4. Andersson, Roland & John M. Quigley, John M. & Wilhelmsson, Mats, 2005. "Higher Education, Localization and Innovation: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 26, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    5. Manuel Acosta & Daniel Coronado & M. Ángeles Martínez, 2018. "Does technological diversification spur university patenting?," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 96-119, February.
    6. Michael Fritsch & Viktor Slavtchev, 2005. "The Role of Regional Knowledge for Innovation," ERSA conference papers ersa05p623, European Regional Science Association.
    7. Carlino, Gerald & Kerr, William R., 2015. "Agglomeration and Innovation," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: Gilles Duranton & J. V. Henderson & William C. Strange (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 0, pages 349-404, Elsevier.
    8. Viktor Slavtchev & Florian Noseleit, 2011. "Universities as Agents of Change," ERSA conference papers ersa10p340, European Regional Science Association.
    9. Bjuggren, Per-Olof, 2005. "Allocation of 3G Rights, Credibility and the Rules of the Game Experiences of the Swedish 3G Beaty Contest," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 41, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    10. Sjoerd Beugelsdijk & Maarten Cornet, 2002. "'A Far Friend is Worth More than a Good Neighbour': Proximity and Innovation in a Small Country," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 6(2), pages 169-188, May.
    11. Olof Ejermo & Urban Gråsjö, 2014. "Accessibility to R&D: a re-examination of the consequences for invention and innovation," Chapters, in: Charlie Karlsson & Börje Johansson & Kiyoshi Kobayashi & Roger R. Stough (ed.), Knowledge, Innovation and Space, chapter 3, pages 51-79, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    12. Tom Broekel & Thomas Brenner, 2011. "Regional factors and innovativeness: an empirical analysis of four German industries," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 47(1), pages 169-194, August.
    13. Manuel Acosta & Joaqu�n M. Azagra-Caro & Daniel Coronado, 2016. "Access to Universities' Public Knowledge: Who is More Regionalist?," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(3), pages 446-459, March.
    14. Jongkwan Lee, 2019. "The Local Economic Impact Of A Large Research University: Evidence From Uc Merced," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 57(1), pages 316-332, January.
    15. Mahmut Yaşar & Catherine Paul, 2012. "Firm performance and knowledge spillovers from academic, industrial and foreign linkages: the case of China," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 237-253, December.
    16. Karine Pellier, 2007. "Convergence, Patenting Activity and Geographic Spillovers: A Spatial Econometric Analysis for European Regions," Working Papers 07-14, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Dec 2007.
    17. Stek, Pieter E. & van Geenhuizen, Marina S., 2016. "The influence of international research interaction on national innovation performance: A bibliometric approach," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 61-70.
    18. Valero, Anna & Van Reenen, John, 2019. "The economic impact of universities: Evidence from across the globe," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 53-67.
    19. RM. Serrano & R. Paci & S. Usai, 2003. "Spatial distribution of innovation activity. The case of European regions," Working Paper CRENoS 200310, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    20. Amnon Frenkel & Eran Leck, 2006. "Investments in Higher Education and the Economic Performance of OECD Member Countries," ERSA conference papers ersa06p153, European Regional Science Association.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:ecpoli:v:25:y:2010:i:61:p:7-59.. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press) The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Oxford University Press to update the entry or send us the correct email address or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/cebruuk.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.