Paul L. Caron

Saturday, January 24, 2009

State Financing of Universities Leads to Lower Quality Faculty

Irina Khovanskaya (Higher School of Economics, Moscow), Konstantin Sonin (New Economic School, Moscow) &  Maria Yudkevich (Higher School of Economics, Moscow) have posted Budget Uncertainty and Faculty Contracts: A Dynamic Framework for Comparative Analysis on SSRN.  Here is the abstract:

We study hiring decisions made by competing universities in a dynamic framework, focusing on the structure of university finance. Universities with annual state-approved financing underinvest in high-quality faculty, while universities that receive a significant part of their annual income from returns on endowments hire fewer but better faculty and provide long-term contracts. If university financing is linked to the number of students, there is additional pressure to hire low-quality short-term staff. An increase in the university's budget might force the university to switch its priorities from 'research' to 'teaching' in equilibrium. We employ our model to discuss the necessity for state-financed endowments, and investigate the political economics of competition between universities, path-dependence in the development of the university system, and higher-education reform in emerging market economies.

(Hat Tip: Max Huffman.)

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They aren't quite comparing apples to apples. What I'd wonder about is what happens if the government funds a school in one lump sum -- does it behave more like a state-funded school, or an endowed one?

Posted by: taxrascal | Jan 28, 2009 9:10:11 PM