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Enrollment and Curriculum: A Laffer Curve Analysis

Listed author(s):
  • Stephen Shmanske
Registered author(s):

    When a college or graduate school toughens its curriculum, entry requirements, or graduation requirements, generally two opposite effects on enrollment will occur. First, because the graduating students have learned more and can signal to employers that they are more able, they can command higher starting wages, and this enhances enrollment. Second, the pool of students who are both eligible to enroll and able to complete the program is diminished, having a negative effect on enrollment. The resulting curve depicting enrollment as a function of the difficulty of the curriculum has the general Laffer curve properties and can be fruitfully examined. A preoccupation with current enrollment levels can lead to pressure to ease the difficulty of the curriculum, however doing so will backfire in the long run.

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    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal The Journal of Economic Education.

    Volume (Year): 33 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 73-82

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:jeduce:v:33:y:2002:i:1:p:73-82
    DOI: 10.1080/00220480209596126
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