Discussion Paper

No. 2011-1 | January 25, 2011
University Funding Systems: Impact on Research and Teaching
(Published in Special Issue Quasi Markets in Education)


We address the following question: how does a higher education funding system influence the trade-off that universities make between research and teaching? We do so by constructing a model that allows universities to choose actively the quality of their teaching and research when faced with different funding systems. In particular, we derive the feasible sets that face universities under such systems and show how, as the parameters of the system are varied, the nature of the university system itself changes. The culture of the university system thus becomes endogenous. This makes the model useful for the analysis of reforms in funding and also for international comparisons.

Paper submitted to the special issue
Quasi Markets in Education

JEL Classification:

I21, I22, I23


  • Downloads: 1762


Cite As

John Beath, Joanna Poyago-Theotoky, and David Ulph (2011). University Funding Systems: Impact on Research and Teaching. Economics Discussion Papers, No 2011-1, Kiel Institute for the World Economy. http://www.economics-ejournal.org/economics/discussionpapers/2011-1

Comments and Questions

Anonymous - Referee Report 1
February 02, 2011 - 12:18

See attached file

Joanna Poyago-Theotoky - Response to Referee
February 28, 2011 - 05:30

Response to referee in attached pdf document.

Alessandro Tampieri - Invited Reader Comment
February 03, 2011 - 10:26

See attached file

Steffen Lippert - Invited Reader Comment
February 07, 2011 - 19:41

See attached file.

Anonymous - very interesting approach
February 18, 2011 - 16:49

The relatively recent, though limited, literature that deals with the microeconomics of Higher Education Institutions, has mainly focused on an Industrial Organization approach of the problem, emphasizing strategic behavior either between or within universities. The present paper deliberately neglects strategic interactions and confines itself to a perfectly competitive quasi-market world. ...[more]

In my opinion, this is a very good starting point. In a sense, what this paper aims at is to build a microeconomic theory of competitive universities that would mimic the analysis of the competitive firm in the standard neoclassical model. Such a contribution is certainly welcome given the present state of theoretical literature. This is not a trivial task, in particular because HEI exhibit specific features such as having inputs (students) who are also outputs or being multi-product entities (teaching and research). The authors carefully study the interplay between funding issues and the allocation of academics' time to build a model that allows them to study the extent to which research funding schemes affect the distribution of HEI types as a function of their preferences. And they show it does in a very meaningful way.
Of course, the paper is only a starting point and the results are obtained at the price of serious simplifications. However, I view it as a promising starting point. It should provide food for thought to most scholars interested in developing microeoconomic analysis of HEI quasimarkets.

Anonymous - Referee Report 2
March 14, 2011 - 09:24

See attached file

Paul HARE - review
March 15, 2011 - 17:05

see attached pdf file

John Beath, Joanna Poyago-Theotoky, and David Ulph - Reply to Referee Reports 1 and 2
November 21, 2011 - 11:52

See attached file