Is Higher Education Increasingly Dysfunctional?

Robert B. Archibald and David H. Feldman

in Why Does College Cost So Much?

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199744503
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199866168 | DOI:
Is Higher Education Increasingly Dysfunctional?

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The current orthodox view of rapidly rising higher education costs is based on stories of dysfunctional behavior in higher education. This chapter summarizes the narrative of rising cost that is based on prestige games and other arms races among schools, administrative bloat, and university faculties that are increasingly and inefficiently detached from the core mission of their universities. The second half of the chapter presents evidence that is inconsistent with these explanations. If the dysfunction narrative were true, the similarities between higher education prices and prices in other industries uncovered in Chapter 2 are coincidences. Explanations based on coincidences are not appealing. The chapter also presents a series of facts about higher education costs and prices that are difficult to reconcile with the dysfunction narrative

Keywords: administrative bloat; arms race; dysfunctionality; prestige games

Chapter.  8510 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Financial Markets

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