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The Americanization of European Higher Education and Research

In: American Universities in a Global Market

  • Lex Borghans
  • Frank Cörvers

Over the past two decades there has been a substantial increase in the mobility ofstudents in Europe, while also research has become much more internationallyoriented. In this paper we document changes in the structure of research and highereducation in Europe and investigate potential explanations for the strong increase inits international orientation. While higher education started to grow substantiallyaround 1960, only a few decades later, research and higher education transformedgradually to the American standard. Decreased communication costs are likely causesfor this trend. Th is transformation is most clearly revealed in the change of languageused in research from the national language, Latin, German and French to English.Smaller language areas made this transformation earlier while there are also cleartiming diff erences between research fi elds. Sciences and medicine tend to switch toEnglish fi rst, followed by economics and social sciences, while for law and arts onlythe fi rst signs of such a transformation are currently observed. Th is suggests thatreturns to scale and the transferability of research results are important infl uences inthe decision to adopt the international standard.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Charles T. Clotfelter, 2010. "American Universities in a Global Market," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number clot08-1, October.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 11598.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:11598
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
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    1. Cardoso, Ana Rute & Guimaraes, Paulo & Zimmermann, Klaus F, 2009. "Comparing the Early Research Performance of PhD Graduates in Labour Economics in Europe and the USA," CEPR Discussion Papers 7129, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Andreu Mas-Colell, 2004. "The European Space of Higher Education: Incentive and Governance Issues," 'Angelo Costa' Lectures Serie, SIPI Spa, issue Lect. V.
    3. DREZE, Jacques & ESTEVAN, Fernanda, 2006. "Research and higher education in economics: can we deliver the Lisbon objectives ?," CORE Discussion Papers 2006051, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    4. Rabah, AMIR & Malgorzata, KNAUFF, 2005. "Ranking economics departments worldwide on the basis of PhD placement," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2005041, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
    5. Bruno S. Frey & Reiner Eichenberger, 1993. "American and European Economics and Economists," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 185-193, Fall.
    6. Jacques H. Drèze & Fernanda Estevan, 2007. "Roundtable on Research and Higher Education in Economics Research and Higher Education in Economics: Can We Deliver the Lisbon Objectives?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(2-3), pages 271-304, 04-05.
    7. Kirman, Alan & Dahl, Mogens, 1994. "Economic research in Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 505-522, April.
    8. J. Peter Neary & James A. Mirrlees & Jean Tirole, 2003. "Evaluating Economics Research in Europe: An Introduction," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(6), pages 1239-1249, December.
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