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The Growing Allocative Inefficiency of the U.S. Higher Education Sector

The Growing Allocative Inefficiency of the U.S. Higher Education Sector

Chapter:
(p.349) 11 The Growing Allocative Inefficiency of the U.S. Higher Education Sector
Source:
Science and Engineering Careers in the United States
Author(s):
James D. AdamsJ. Roger Clemmons
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226261904.003.0012

This chapter presents new evidence on the productivity of U.S. universities. Interest in this subject originates with recent developments in U.S. higher education that strike as noteworthy and perhaps troubling. First, despite their high state, growth of employment and output in top U.S. research universities has slowed down in recent years. And second, growth of university research has not kept pace with that of industrial research. This chapter finds evidence of growing allocative inefficiency in U.S. higher education. The most compelling evidence for this claim derives from research output, which is better measured than teaching output at the same time. It is found that the universities whose productivity grows less rapidly experience more rapid growth in research share. The chapter suggests a different and more privatized approach to funding universities that would place greater reliance on parental finance of teaching, and federal and private foundation finance of research. In any event, some solution seems urgent if the United States is to retain its preeminence in higher education, and subsequently in academic and industrial science, technology, and innovation.

Keywords:   sciences, engineering, United States, universities, higher education, industrial science, technology

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