Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/282059
Title:
MARGINAL COSTS OF INSTRUCTION IN PUBLIC HIGHER EDUCATION
Author:
Brinkman, Paul Timothy
Issue Date:
1981
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
The purpose of this study was to estimate the marginal costs of instruction in several types of public colleges and universities in the United States. If marginal costs vary with enrollment size or differ from average costs, then inadvertent changes in the financial status of those institutions are likely to accompany changes in their enrollments, granted current funding patterns. Long-run total cost functions were developed within a microeconomic framework. The unit of analysis was the institution. A variety of additive and multiplicative functions were tested, as no particular functional form was assumed to be correct a priori. The dependent variable was instructional expenditures; the primary independent variables included lower, upper, and graduate division enrollments, while control variables included average faculty salary, a state price index, sponsored research expenditures per faculty, dummy variables for whether the institution is in a formula-funding state and whether it is a traditionally black institution, and a program vector consisting of the proportion of degrees earned in a representative set of curricular areas. The primary data source was the 1977-78 Higher Education General Information Survey published by the National Center for Higher Education Statistics. The cost functions were estimated using ordinary least-squares regression. Four types of institutions offering primarily a baccalaureate or higher degree and three types of two-year institutions were analyzed. The estimated marginal cost curves were interpreted as reflecting average institutional efficiency. Cost behavior differed considerably by type of institution and by student level with respect to the estimated marginal costs at mean enrollment and the variability of estimated marginal costs across the range of observed enrollments, i.e., the shape of the marginal cost curves. Overall, the results of the study support the concern that current funding patterns for public higher education, with their reliance on average costs, may yield other than intended results when enrollments change substantially; but this implied incongruence varied by institutional type and by student level within institutional types.
Type:
text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)
Keywords:
Education, Higher -- United States -- Costs -- Mathematical models.
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Higher Education
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Leslie, Larry L.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.titleMARGINAL COSTS OF INSTRUCTION IN PUBLIC HIGHER EDUCATIONen_US
dc.creatorBrinkman, Paul Timothyen_US
dc.contributor.authorBrinkman, Paul Timothyen_US
dc.date.issued1981en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThe purpose of this study was to estimate the marginal costs of instruction in several types of public colleges and universities in the United States. If marginal costs vary with enrollment size or differ from average costs, then inadvertent changes in the financial status of those institutions are likely to accompany changes in their enrollments, granted current funding patterns. Long-run total cost functions were developed within a microeconomic framework. The unit of analysis was the institution. A variety of additive and multiplicative functions were tested, as no particular functional form was assumed to be correct a priori. The dependent variable was instructional expenditures; the primary independent variables included lower, upper, and graduate division enrollments, while control variables included average faculty salary, a state price index, sponsored research expenditures per faculty, dummy variables for whether the institution is in a formula-funding state and whether it is a traditionally black institution, and a program vector consisting of the proportion of degrees earned in a representative set of curricular areas. The primary data source was the 1977-78 Higher Education General Information Survey published by the National Center for Higher Education Statistics. The cost functions were estimated using ordinary least-squares regression. Four types of institutions offering primarily a baccalaureate or higher degree and three types of two-year institutions were analyzed. The estimated marginal cost curves were interpreted as reflecting average institutional efficiency. Cost behavior differed considerably by type of institution and by student level with respect to the estimated marginal costs at mean enrollment and the variability of estimated marginal costs across the range of observed enrollments, i.e., the shape of the marginal cost curves. Overall, the results of the study support the concern that current funding patterns for public higher education, with their reliance on average costs, may yield other than intended results when enrollments change substantially; but this implied incongruence varied by institutional type and by student level within institutional types.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeDissertation-Reproduction (electronic)en_US
dc.subjectEducation, Higher -- United States -- Costs -- Mathematical models.en_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineHigher Educationen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorLeslie, Larry L.en_US
dc.identifier.proquest8206890en_US
dc.identifier.oclc8700347en_US
dc.identifier.bibrecord.b13911077en_US
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