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Benevolent Colluders? The Effects of Antitrust Action on College Financial Aid and Tuition

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  • Caroline M. Hoxby

Abstract

The Department of Justice's (DOJ's) investigation of private colleges for price-fixing caused the Overlap' group of colleges to discontinue their meetings. DOJ alleged that the meetings enabled the colleges to collude on higher tuition and increase their tuition revenue. The colleges claimed that they needed the meeting to implement their policies of basing aid on need and fully covering need. This paper investigates whether the cessation of the meeting caused a break-down of need-based aid policies or whether, as DOJ argued, the meeting was unnecessary for such policies. I also attempt to determine whether the cessation of the meeting affected tuition or tuition revenue. Finally, I examine the question of whether need-based aid is simply redistribution or a method of internalizing externalities among students. Many students would like colleges to maintain policies of need-based aid for others while making exceptions for them, awarding them grants for which they would not qualify based on need. Yet, the same students might prefer a regime of need-based aid, knowing that it would apply them, because basing aid on need affects colleges' selectivity and diversity.

Suggested Citation

  • Caroline M. Hoxby, 2000. "Benevolent Colluders? The Effects of Antitrust Action on College Financial Aid and Tuition," NBER Working Papers 7754, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7754 Note: CH LS PE
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    1. Joshua Aizenman, 1986. "Labor Markets and the Choice of Technology in an Open Developing Economy," NBER Working Papers 1998, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Robert W. Crandall & Clifford Winston, 2005. "Does antitrust policy improve consumer welfare? Assessing the evidence," Chapters,in: Governments, Competition and Utility Regulation, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Holger Sieg & Dennis Epple & Richard Romano, 2003. "Peer effects, financial aid and selection of students into colleges and universities: an empirical analysis," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., pages 501-525.
    3. Mumcu, Ayse & Saglam, Ismail, 2007. "College Admissions under Early Decision," MPRA Paper 1906, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. DANIEL P. McMILLEN & LARRY D. SINGELL & GLEN R. WADDELL, 2007. "Spatial Competition And The Price Of College," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 45(4), pages 817-833, October.
    5. Turner, Nicholas, 2012. "Who benefits from student aid? The economic incidence of tax-based federal student aid," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 463-481.
    6. Hashem Dezhbakhsh & John A. Karikari, 2010. "Enrollment At Highly Selective Private Colleges: Who Is Left Behind?," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 28(1), pages 94-109, January.

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