Are Universities Becoming More Unequal?

34 Pages Posted: 10 Aug 2015

See all articles by Yan Lau

Yan Lau

Federal Trade Commission; Reed College

Harvey S. Rosen

Princeton University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: July 2015

Abstract

Observers have expressed concern about growing inequality in resources across universities. But are universities really becoming more unequal? We argue that the typical approach of examining endowment growth alone is not sensible. In line with the literature on household inequality, we focus instead on a comprehensive income measure. We find that although there is considerable inequality among institutions, concerns about the inexorable growth of inequality are overblown. Whether one looks at income, endowment wealth, or expenditure, inequality has been high but stable, exhibiting only negligible increases in recent years. Furthermore, there has been little mobility within the higher education sector.

Suggested Citation

Lau, Yan and Rosen, Harvey S., Are Universities Becoming More Unequal? (July 2015). NBER Working Paper No. w21432, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2641628

Yan Lau (Contact Author)

Federal Trade Commission ( email )

601 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.ftc.gov/about-ftc/biographies/yan-lau

Reed College ( email )

Harvey S. Rosen

Princeton University - Department of Economics ( email )

001 Fisher Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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