Striving for Excellence: University Competition, Quality Perceptions, and Ability Sorting

Cologne Graduate School Working Paper Series 05-01

29 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2014

See all articles by Mira Fischer

Mira Fischer

University of Cologne - Department of Business Administration and Human Resource Management

Patrick Kampkötter

University of Tuebingen - Department of Managerial Accounting

Date Written: July 6, 2014

Abstract

We study the effects of a label awarded to universities for excellence in research on students' perception of educational quality and enrollment in subsequent admission terms. Using a representative student survey we find that students evaluate the teaching and supervision quality of their institution better immediately after it was labelled "excellent". Furthermore, the award of the excellence label allow universities to enroll better high school graduates in subsequent admission terms, with economics students showing the strongest response. Our results provide evidence that students use the label as a signal for educational quality that affects application decisions and reinforces ability sorting between universities, a side-effect of a policy designed to raise efficiency of universities.

Keywords: higher education, university choice, student evaluations, labelling effect

JEL Classification: I23, D80, H52

Suggested Citation

Fischer, Mira and Kampkötter, Patrick, Striving for Excellence: University Competition, Quality Perceptions, and Ability Sorting (July 6, 2014). Cologne Graduate School Working Paper Series 05-01. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2462899 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2462899

Mira Fischer

University of Cologne - Department of Business Administration and Human Resource Management ( email )

Koln, 50923
Germany

Patrick Kampkötter (Contact Author)

University of Tuebingen - Department of Managerial Accounting ( email )

Germany

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