Paying the Piper

Productivity, Incentives, and Financing in U.S. Higher Education
Michael S. McPherson, Morton Owen Schapiro, and Gordon C. Winston, Editors
Examines the successes and problems of U.S. higher education


Rising tuitions and shrinking government budgets have pushed questions about productivity and resource use in U.S. higher education to the fore. In Paying the Piper three distinguished researchers examine the many successes of U.S. higher education, identify real problems, and carefully analyze potential solutions. Among the questions addressed are: On what do colleges and universities spend their money and how have their spending patterns changed over time; what does "quality" really mean in higher education and how is it related to price and cost; what are appropriate measures of "productivity"; and does increasing the amount of federal financial aid encourage colleges to raise their tuitions?

The essays comprising this volume demonstrate that the application of basic economic principles and a combination of both descriptive and econometric analyses can illuminate a number of issues. Using economic concepts and tools to provide insight into these pressing questions, Paying the Piper helps us to understand the recent past, anticipate the future, and develop policies that can influence the future.

Praise / Awards

  • ". . . a thought-provoking and useful book."
  • ". . . a valuable addition to this still relatively untilled field."
  • ". . . the volume is valuable because it provides a clear explanation of what the important policy questions in the economics of higher education are, and what most of the evidence bearing on these issues is. Even more important than the substantive evidence, however, is the value of the volume as an exemplar for how policy analysis should be done. The book demonstrates in every chapter the analytical power that can be achieved by combining insights from economic theory with a detailed understanding of the institutional structure of an industry."
    --Journal of Economic Literature
  • "Scholars interested in the economics of higher education will find this volume well worth reading. . . . [T]his is a stimulating volume that opens up many potential avenues of inquiry."
    --Southern Economic Journal

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 344pp.
  • figures, tables.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 1994
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-10404-8

Add to Cart
  • $90.00 U.S.