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Striving for Excellence: University Competition, Quality Perceptions, and Ability Sorting

  • Mira Fischer

    (University of Cologne)

  • Patrick Kampkoetter

    (University of Cologne)

We study the effects of a label awarded to universities for excellence in research on students' perception of educational quality and enrolment in subsequent admission terms. Using a representative student survey we find that students evaluate the teaching and supervision quality of their institution better immediately after it was labelled "excellent". Furthermore, the award of the excellence label allow universities to enrol better high school graduates in subsequent admission terms, with economics students showing the strongest response. Our results provide evidence that students use the label as a signal for educational quality that affects application decisions and reinforces ability sorting between universities, a side-effect of a policy designed to raise efficiency of universities.

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File URL: http://www.cgs.uni-koeln.de/fileadmin/wiso_fak/cgs/pdf/working_paper/cgswp_05-01.pdf
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Paper provided by Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences in its series Cologne Graduate School Working Paper Series with number 05-01.

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Date of creation: 22 Mar 2014
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Handle: RePEc:cgr:cgsser:05-01
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  1. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
  2. 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.
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  7. Braun Sebastian & Dwenger Nadja & Kübler Dorothea, 2010. "Telling the Truth May Not Pay Off: An Empirical Study of Centralized University Admissions in Germany," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-38, March.
  8. Weiler, William C., 1996. "Factors influencing the matriculation choices of high ability students," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 23-36, February.
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  11. Annette Alstadsæter, 2004. "Measuring the consumption value of higher education," Econometric Society 2004 Australasian Meetings 40, Econometric Society.
  12. Darren W. Dahl & Kamal Smimou, 2011. "Does motivation matter?: On the relationship between perceived quality of teaching and students' motivational orientations," Managerial Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 37(7), pages 582-609, July.
  13. Horstschräer, Julia, 2011. "University rankings in action? The importance of rankings and an excellence competition for university choice of high-ability students?," ZEW Discussion Papers 11-061, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  14. Shlomo Benartzi & Richard Thaler, 2007. "Heuristics and Biases in Retirement Savings Behavior," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 81-104, Summer.
  15. Kemnitz, Alexander, 1999. " Demographic Structure and the Political Economy of Education Subsidies," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 101(3-4), pages 235-49, December.
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  18. repec:aic:revebs:y:2011:i:7: is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2009. "The Changing Selectivity of American Colleges," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(4), pages 95-118, Fall.
  20. Hübner, Malte, 2012. "Do tuition fees affect enrollment behavior? Evidence from a ‘natural experiment’ in Germany," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 949-960.
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