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ERIC Number: ED536157
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jun
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Oklahoma Higher Education: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom
Denhart, Matthew; Matgouranis, Christopher
Center for College Affordability and Productivity (NJ1)
A major headline in recent years has been that cash-strapped state governments are cutting back support for many services, including public higher education. Oklahoma is no different. Indeed, in the most recent state budget crafted by Oklahoma policymakers, Oklahoma's public colleges and universities received a 5.8 percent cut in state appropriations. Although campus leaders claim that these cuts will be detrimental to their institutions and the state's economy as a whole, the evidence does not support such pessimistic predictions. This study presents two key findings. First, Oklahoma's state colleges have not suffered financially over the past half-decade. Statewide, university revenues have actually increased over this period, even after controlling for inflation and growths in enrollment. Second, this study makes the case that increasing state appropriations for higher education does not positively affect a state's economic growth. While human capital formation is an important variable in virtually all economic growth models, this study suggests that increased state funding for higher education may be failing to actually increase a state's human capital stock. These findings indicate that public fears and outcries over cuts in state appropriations for higher education are unfounded. State investment in higher education is not an engine for economic growth as conventional wisdom holds. Rather than continuing to blindly pass money from taxpayers to university bureaucracies, Oklahoma would be well-suited to rethink its long-term economic growth strategy. Expense Category Definitions are appended. (Contains 1 figure, 3 tables, and 29 endnotes.) [Foreword by Richard Vedder.]
Center for College Affordability and Productivity. 1055 Thomas Jefferson Street NW Suite L 26, Washington, DC 20007. Tel: 202-621-0536; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP); Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA)
Identifiers - Location: Oklahoma