- Elgar original reference
Edited by Enrico Colombatto
22 Property rights in higher education Ryan C. Amacher and Roger E. Meiners Introduction Property rights are generally understood to be claims to resources that are formally or informally recognized to be under the control of a person or group of people. As most of the chapters in this volume discuss, we are generally concerned with resources that are privately held. When we move away from the world of individual decision makers and proﬁt-driven organizations that allocate property, we are in the world of public sector control of resources or control by non-proﬁt organizations. While the same self-interested individuals are at work in the public and non-proﬁt sectors as are at work in proprietary organizations, the lack of proﬁt incentives causes different results to evolve. One large market dominated by public and non-proﬁt organizations is higher education. Higher education would exist in the absence of public intervention, as historically it was, at least in the United States, dominated by churches (Meiners 1995). For-proﬁt colleges command a small fraction of the market. It is hard to compete with the public purse and subsidies provided by donors to non-proﬁt organizations. Our focus is not on why higher education is dominated by government and non-proﬁt organizations but what we observe the incentives to be of participants in these organizations. Differences are observed between government and non-proﬁt colleges. Self-interest is always at work but is constrained and directed by the rules of the game. The...
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