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ERIC Number: ED573091
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 20
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 25
Disaggregating the Truth: A Re-Analysis of the Costs and Benefits of Michigan's Public Universities. Professional File. Number 125, Summer 2012
Daun-Barnett, Nathan J.
Association for Institutional Research
For more than 50 years, human capital theory has been the cornerstone for understanding the value of investing in individuals' productive capacities in terms of both personal social and economic gain and the collective benefits that accrue to society. Vedder and Denhart (2007) challenge the hypothesis that public investment in higher education fuels economic growth. In their analysis focusing specifically on the state of Michigan, they ask two separate questions: (1) Have Michigan's public universities suffered from four years of declining state appropriations?; and (2) Does investment in higher education influence state economic growth? The report concludes that public university revenues increased during that period and that, overall, state appropriations for higher education are negatively related to economic growth. A re-analysis suggests the opposite: Michigan's public universities have suffered from declining state support, which has resulted in higher tuition to students and declining spending on instruction and support services. Higher education stimulates economic growth in ways different than those discussed by Vedder and Denhart. The findings relative to economic growth are misleading, but they point to an important reality facing higher education that should not be ignored--expenditures per FTE (full-time equivalent) are rising faster than inflation, and this may need to be addressed. [For "Michigan Higher Education: Facts and Fiction. Policy Brief. No. S2007-08" (Vedder and Denhart 2007), see ED502197.]
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Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Association for Institutional Research (AIR)
Identifiers - Location: Michigan