The Changing of the Guard: The Political Economy of Administrative Bloat in American Higher Education

35 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2017  

Todd J. Zywicki

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty; PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

Christopher Koopman

George Mason University - Mercatus Center; George Mason University School of Law

Date Written: March 23, 2017

Abstract

The cost of higher education in the United States has risen dramatically in recent years. Numerous explanations have been provided to explain this increase. This paper focuses on one contributing factor: The dramatic growth in the size and expense of non-academic administrators and other university bureaucrats, which has outpaced the growth of expenditures on academic programs. Given that university faculty are typically viewed as the constituency that primarily controls universities, this growth of non-academic employees and expenses appears to be anomalous. Some theories are provided to explain this transition.

Keywords: Academic Bureaucracy, Administrative Bloat, Higher Education, Non-Profit, University Governance

JEL Classification: I2, I20, I22, I23

Suggested Citation

Zywicki, Todd J. and Koopman, Christopher, The Changing of the Guard: The Political Economy of Administrative Bloat in American Higher Education (March 23, 2017). George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 17-12. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2939915

Todd J. Zywicki (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty ( email )

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PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

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Christopher Koopman

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

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George Mason University School of Law ( email )

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

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