IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Avoiding Tunnel Vision in the Study of Higher Education Costs


  • Robert B. Archibald

    () (Department of Economics, College of William and Mary)

  • David H. Feldman

    () (Department of Economics, College of William and Mary)


Much of the literature on the causes of rising costs in higher education focuses on specific features and pathologies of decision-making within colleges and universities. We argue that this inward-looking focus on the specifics of higher education as an industry is a form of tunnel vision that can lead to poor public policy decisions. In this paper we show that cost disease and capital-skill complementarity are two crucially important causes of rising costs in higher education. These two economy-wide forces are something higher education shares with other skilled-labor-intensive services.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert B. Archibald & David H. Feldman, 2007. "Avoiding Tunnel Vision in the Study of Higher Education Costs," Working Papers 53, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
  • Handle: RePEc:cwm:wpaper:53

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    discrete games; cost disease; capital-skill complementarity;

    JEL classification:

    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    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:cwm:wpaper:53. 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: (Daifeng He) or (Alfredo Pereira). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.