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

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  • Winston, G.C.

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Winston, G.C., 2000. "Economic Stratification and Hierarchy Among U.S. Colleges and Universities," Williams Project on the Economics of Higher Education DP-58, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  • Handle: RePEc:wil:wilehe:58
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    File URL: http://sites.williams.edu/wpehe/files/2011/06/DP-58.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Charles T. Clotfelter, 1996. "Buying the Best: Cost Escalation in Elite Higher Education," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number clot96-1.
    2. 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.
    3. Stacy Berg Dale & Alan B. Krueger, 2002. "Estimating the Payoff to Attending a More Selective College: An Application of Selection on Observables and Unobservables," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1491-1527.
    4. 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.
    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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    Cited by:

    1. John Bound & Brad Hershbein & Bridget Terry Long, 2009. "Playing the Admissions Game: Student Reactions to Increasing College Competition," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(4), pages 119-146, Fall.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    EDUCATION ; INCOME ; STUDENTS ; CHOICE;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid

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