NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED515051
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Dec
Pages: 53
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
The (Un)Productivity of American Higher Education: From "Cost Disease" to Cost-Effectiveness. WISCAPE Working Paper
Harris, Douglas N.; Goldrick-Rab, Sara
Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education (NJ1)
Productivity in academic degrees granted by American colleges and universities is declining. While there is some evidence this is caused by an uncontrollable "cost disease," we examine two additional explanations. First, few popular programs and strategies in higher education are cost-effective, and those that are may be underutilized. Second, a lack of rigorous evidence about both the costs and effects of higher education practices intersects with a lack of incentive to use cost-effectiveness as a way to guide decision-making. Rather than simply a "cost disease," we argue that the problem is more a "system disease"--one that is partly curable. A bibliography is included. (Contains 1 figure, 3 tables and 27 footnotes.)
Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education. University of Wisconsin-Madison, 326 Lathrop Hall, 1050 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706-1386. Tel: 608-265-6342; Fax: 608-262-4881; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Lumina Foundation for Education
Authoring Institution: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education