Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs

The (Un)Productivity of American Higher Education: From “Cost Disease” to Cost-Effectiveness

The authors examine two explanations for why productivity in academic degrees granted by American colleges and universities is declining. 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 the costs and effects of higher education practices intersects with a lack of incentive to use cost-effectiveness to guide decision-making.

Additional Info

  • Volume or issue no.: La Follette School Working Paper No. 2010-023
  • Author(s): Douglas N. Harris and Sara Goldrick-Rab