The Rise and Decline of a University

31 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 2015

See all articles by David Rapach

David Rapach

Saint Louis University; Washington University in St. Louis

Bonnie Wilson

Saint Louis University - Department of Economics

Date Written: May 2015

Abstract

We examine the past rise and more recent decline of Saint Louis University (SLU) from the perspective of economic growth theory, which is commonly used to explain the rise and decline of nations. Consistent with neoclassical growth theory, we suggest that the simple accumulation of capital explains much of SLU's past rise. Over time, political power became increasingly concentrated among a relatively small group of elites led by the university President. In line with the New Institutional Economics, we argue that this concentration of power explains SLU's more recent decline. During the 2012-2013 academic year, this decline precipitated a critical juncture -- a confluence of factors that emerge and provide an opportunity to overturn the status quo. Further drawing on growth theory, we discuss the challenges ahead and explore conditions under which SLU might expect this critical juncture to generate a brighter future.

Keywords: Saint Louis University, Economic growth theory, Capital accumulation, New Institutional Economics, Inclusive and extractive institutions, Critical juncture, Elites

Suggested Citation

Rapach, David and Wilson, Bonnie, The Rise and Decline of a University (May 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2613524 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2613524

David Rapach

Saint Louis University ( email )

3674 Lindell Blvd
St. Louis, MO 63108-3397
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/slu.edu/daverapach

Washington University in St. Louis

One Brookings Drive
Campus Box 1133
St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/slu.edu/daverapach

Bonnie Wilson (Contact Author)

Saint Louis University - Department of Economics ( email )

3674 Lindell Boulevard
Saint Louis, MO 63108
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/a/slu.edu/bonnie_wilson/

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