The International Market for MBA Qualifications
This paper explores the relationship between fees charged by MBA programmes and the number of applications to these programmes, using a panel dataset comprising universities from countries across the world. Using Three-Stage-Least-Squares methods for simultaneous equations, we find a two-way relationship between fees and applications: higher application numbers encourage universities to charge higher fees in the future, but higher fees in turn curtail application numbers. Of particular note are the results pertaining to additional explanatory variables that potentially represent MBA programme quality signals to applicants. We find evidence that higher GMAT scores of existing students increase applications, as do higher post MBA salaries. Meanwhile, university and programme professional accreditations do not impact on student application choices, nor do alumni ratings of programme quality. Published MBA programme rankings appear to have little impact on applications, and where an effect can be identified, it appears that a better ranking discourages applications.
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