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The Impact of State Governance Structures on Higher Education Resources and Research Activity


  • Jack H. Knott

    (University of Illinois)

  • A Abigail Payne

    (University of Illinois)


Universities in the United States reside in regions that have different political cultures and economic conditions. While these facts and the reputation of the university play an important role in determining the features of university performance, the role of state governance of public universities also is an important factor. Over the past two decades state governments have given considerable attention to state governance issues, resulting in many universities operating in a more regulated setting today. We explore whether the governance structure affects the resources allocated and the activities undertaken by universities. This paper develops a classification of higher education structures and shows the effects of these structures using a data set that covers the period 1987 to 1997. The analysis suggests that, for most of the measures, productivity and resources are higher at universities with a statewide board that is more decentralized and with members that are not primarily appointed by the governor.

Suggested Citation

  • Jack H. Knott & A Abigail Payne, 2001. "The Impact of State Governance Structures on Higher Education Resources and Research Activity," Public Economics 0111004, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:0111004
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Toma, Eugenia Froedge, 1990. "Boards of Trustees, Agency Problems, and University Output," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 67(1), pages 1-9, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Joseph Calhoun & David Kamerschen, 2010. "The impact of governing structure on the pricing behavior and market structure of public institutions of higher education in the U.S," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 57(3), pages 317-333, September.
    2. Jack H. Knott & A. Abigail Payne, 2004. "The impact of state governance structures on management and performance of public organizations: A study of higher education institutions," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(1), pages 13-30.

    More about this item


    state governance; universities;

    JEL classification:

    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • H - Public Economics

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