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The Design of the University System

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  • Gianni De Fraja
  • Paola Valbonesi

Abstract

This paper compares the organisation of the university sector under private provision with the structure which would be chosen by a welfare maximising government. It studies a general equilibrium model where universities carry out research and teach students. To attend university and earn higher incomes in the labour market, students pay a tuition fee. Each university chooses its tuition fee to maximise the amount of resources it can devote to research. Research bestows an externality on society because it increases labour market earnings. Government intervention needs to balance labour market efficiency considerations — which would tend to equalise the number of students attending each university — with considerations of efficiency on the production side, which suggest that the most productive universities should teach more students and carry out more research. We find that government concentrates research more that the private market would, but less than it would like to do if it had perfect information about the productivity of universities. It also allows fewer universities than would operate in a private system.

Suggested Citation

  • Gianni De Fraja & Paola Valbonesi, 2009. "The Design of the University System," Discussion Papers in Economics 09/19, Division of Economics, School of Business, University of Leicester.
  • Handle: RePEc:lec:leecon:09/19
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      by Alberto Bagnai in Goofynomics on 2014-02-25 06:03:00

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    Cited by:

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    2. Manna, Ester, 2013. "Mixed Duopoly with Motivated Teachers," MPRA Paper 52041, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Lisa Grazzini & Annalisa Luporini & Alessandro Petretto, 2010. "Competition between State Universities," Working Papers - Economics wp2010_02.rdf, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa.
    4. T Agasisti & G Johnes, 2009. "Cost Structure, Efficiency and Heterogeneity in US Higher Education: An Empirical Analysis," Working Papers 599308, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    5. De Fraja, Gianni & Valbonesi, Paola, 2012. "The design of the university system," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 317-330.
    6. Kolpin, Van & Stater, Mark, 2024. "The perverse equilibrium effects of state and federal student aid in higher education," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 217(C), pages 679-691.
    7. Jill Johnes, 2018. "University rankings: What do they really show?," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 115(1), pages 585-606, April.
    8. Omphile Temoso & Lindikaya W. Myeki, 2023. "Estimating South African Higher Education Productivity and Its Determinants Using Färe-Primont Index: Are Historically Disadvantaged Universities Catching Up?," Research in Higher Education, Springer;Association for Institutional Research, vol. 64(2), pages 206-227, March.
    9. Cremer, Helmuth & Maldonado, Dario, 2013. "Mixed oligopoly in education," TSE Working Papers 13-381, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    10. Dennis Epple & Richard Romano & Sinan Sarpça & Holger Sieg, 2013. "The U.S. Market for Higher Education: A General Equilibrium Analysis of State and Private Colleges and Public Funding Policies," NBER Working Papers 19298, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Hidalgo-Hidalgo Marisa & Valera Guadalupe, 2016. "University Merging Process: A Guideline Proposal for Excellence-Enhancing," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 16(3), pages 1359-1386, September.
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    13. Woohyung Lee & Ki-Dong Lee, 2018. "Strategic behaviors on privatization between regions," Asia-Pacific Journal of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 227-242, April.
    14. Gianni De Fraja & Giovanni Facchini & John Gathergood, 2016. "How Much Is That Star in the Window? Professorial Salaries and Research Performance in UK Universities," Discussion Papers 2016-13, University of Nottingham, GEP.
    15. De Fraja, Gianni, 2011. "A Theoretical Analysis of Public Funding for Research," CEPR Discussion Papers 8442, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    16. Masahito Ambashi, 2021. "Theoretical Analysis of University Research and Teaching in the Presence of External Research Funding," KIER Working Papers 1069, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
    17. Verbitskiy, Andrey (Вербицкий, Андрей) & Fridman, Alla (Фридман, Алла), 2014. "Competition between universities and government regulation [Конкуренция Между Вузами И Государственное Регулирование]," Ekonomicheskaya Politika / Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 6, pages 137-160, December.
    18. Buckley, Ralf, 2019. "Tourism publications as newly tradeable commodities: Academic performance, prestige, power, competition, constraints and consents," Annals of Tourism Research, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 121-133.
    19. Vanesa D’Elia & Gustavo Ferro, 2019. "Empirical Efficiency Measurement in Higher Education: An Overview," CEMA Working Papers: Serie Documentos de Trabajo. 708, Universidad del CEMA.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Higher education; The organisation of the university sector.;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • H42 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Private Goods

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