Reducing product diversity in higher education
Public systems of higher education have recently attempted to cut costs by providing .nancial incentives to institutions who reduce the diversity of their programs. We study the pro and welfare e¤ects of reducing product diversity in higher education, against the background of a funding system reform in Flanders (Belgium). We find that dropping duplicated programs at individual institutions tends to be socially undesirable, due to the limited fixed cost and variable cost savings and the students low willingness to travel to other institutions. Furthermore, we find that the financial incentives o¤ered to drop programs may be very ineffective, leading to both undesirable reform and undesirable status quo. These fondings emphasize the complexities in regulating product diversity in higher education, and serve as a word of caution towards the various decentralized .nancial incentive schemes that have recently been introduced.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2007|
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