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Endowment Management Based on a Positive Model of the University

  • Caroline M. Hoxby

I propose a positive model of the university that generates many apparently peculiar features of universities such as endowments and tuition subsidies. The model proposes a specific objective function: a university maximizes its contribution to the intellectual capital of society, valued at social returns. The objective function is enforced within the model-that is, it leads to actions that reinforce the initial selection of the objective function. Endowments also arise naturally within the model: they are a necessary feature of certain universities, not an accident. The model has important implications for the decisions that universities should make on many fronts, but I focus on the implications for financial decisions, especially universities' endowment spending rules and portfolio allocations. The model is designed to explain America's great private research universities and very selective liberal arts colleges and-with modest adaptations-institutions like America's and Britain's great public research universities. Indeed, a ancillary benefit of the model is that it provides a justification for existence of the aforementioned institutions by assigning them a unique role in the creation of the world's intellectual capital.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18626.

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Date of creation: Dec 2012
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Publication status: published as Endowment Management Based on a Positive Model of the University , Caroline M. Hoxby. in How the Financial Crisis and Great Recession Affected Higher Education , Brown and Hoxby. 2015
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18626
Note: ED LS PE
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  1. Catherine Casamatta, 2003. "Financing and Advising: Optimal Financial Contracts with Venture Capitalists," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(5), pages 2059-2086, October.
  2. Jeffrey R. Brown & Stephen G. Dimmock & Scott Weisbenner, 2012. "The Supply of and Demand for Charitable Donations to Higher Education," NBER Chapters, in: How the Financial Crisis and Great Recession Affected Higher Education, pages 151-174 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  5. Jeffrey R. Brown & Stephen G. Dimmock & Jun-Koo Kang & Scott J. Weisbenner, 2014. "How University Endowments Respond to Financial Market Shocks: Evidence and Implications," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(3), pages 931-62, March.
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  9. Richard C. Grinold & David S.P. Hopkins & William F. Massy, 1978. "A Model for Long-Range University Budget Planning under Uncertainty," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 396-420, Autumn.
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  11. Trester, Jeffrey J., 1998. "Venture capital contracting under asymmetric information," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(6-8), pages 675-699, August.
  12. Steven N. Kaplan & Per Str�mberg, 2003. "Financial Contracting Theory Meets the Real World: An Empirical Analysis of Venture Capital Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 281-315.
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  14. Litvack, James M & Malkiel, Burton G & Quandt, Richard E, 1974. "A Plan for the Definition of Endowment Income," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 433-37, May.
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  17. Tobin, James, 1974. "What Is Permanent Endowment Income?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 427-32, May.
  18. Brown, Keith C. & Garlappi, Lorenzo & Tiu, Cristian, 2010. "Asset allocation and portfolio performance: Evidence from university endowment funds," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 268-294, May.
  19. Gorman, Michael & Sahlman, William A., 1989. "What do venture capitalists do?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 231-248, July.
  20. Stephen G. Dimmock, 2012. "Background Risk and University Endowment Funds," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(3), pages 789-799, August.
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