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Economic Stratification and Hierarchy Among U.S. Colleges and Universities

  • Winston, G.C.

Colleges and universities in the US differ markedly in their access to economic resources, hence in what they can do for their students. National (IPEDS) data are used here to describe the resulting hierarchy that's reflected in schools' spending on their students, the prices those students pay, and the subsidies they get in consequence. Both historical data and projections based on recent institutional saving suggest that economic disparities among institutions and their students are increasing. In a final section, the paper asks what to make of this: what we can say about "the right degree" of institutional disparity, so whether we have too much, too little, or about the right amount of differentiation.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Williams College in its series Williams Project on the Economics of Higher Education with number DP-58.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2000
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in Review of Industrial Organization, Volume 24, Number 4, pp. 331-54.
Handle: RePEc:wil:wilehe:58
Contact details of provider: Postal: Williamstown, MA 01267
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  1. Winston, Gordon C., 1989. "Imperfectly rational choice : Rationality as the result of a costly activity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 67-86, August.
  2. Stacy Berg Dale & Alan Krueger, 1998. "Estimating the Payoff to Attending a More Selective College: An Application of Selection on Observables and Unobservables," Working Papers 788, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  3. Winston, G.C. & Zimmerman, D.J., 2000. "Where is Aggressive Price Competition Taking Higher Education?," Williams Project on the Economics of Higher Education DP-56, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  4. Charles T. Clotfelter, 1996. "Buying the Best: Cost Escalation in Elite Higher Education," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number clot96-1, July.
  5. Winston, G.C. & Carbone, J.C. & Lewis, E.G., 1998. "What's Been Happening to Higher Education? Facts, Trends, and Data," Williams Project on the Economics of Higher Education DP-47, Department of Economics, Williams College.
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