Scientific Output of US and European Universities Scales Super-Linearly with Resources

30 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2018

See all articles by Benedetto Lepori

Benedetto Lepori

Università della Svizzera italiana

Aldo Geuna

University of Torino - Department Cultures, Politics and Society

Antonietta Mira

Università della Svizzera italiana - InterDisciplinary Institute of Data Science

Date Written: November 2018

Abstract

By using a comprehensive dataset of US and European universities, we demonstrate super-linear scaling between university revenues and their volume of publications and citations. We show that this relationship holds both in the US and in Europe. In terms of resources, our data show that three characteristics differentiate the US system: (1) a significantly higher level of resources for the entire system, (2) a clearer distinction between education-oriented institutions and doctoral universities and (3) a higher concentration of resources among doctoral universities. Accordingly, a group of US universities receive a much larger amount of resources and have a far higher number of publications and especially citations when compared to their European counterparts. These results demonstrate empirically the pervasiveness of a social order where financial resources are tightly coupled with ameasure of ‘excellence’ associated with international rankings and, additionally, where the widely accepted measures of ‘excellence’ in reality ‘prime’ resources. They therefore raise important questions for policy-making and for the management of higher education institutions.

Keywords: Social Sciences/Economic Sciences

Suggested Citation

Lepori, Benedetto and Geuna, Aldo and Mira, Antonietta, Scientific Output of US and European Universities Scales Super-Linearly with Resources (November 2018). SWPS 2018-22, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3285902 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3285902

Benedetto Lepori (Contact Author)

Università della Svizzera italiana ( email )

Via Giuseppe Buffi 13
Lugano, TN Ticino 6900
Switzerland

Aldo Geuna

University of Torino - Department Cultures, Politics and Society ( email )

Lungo Dora Siena 100 A
Torino, 10153
Italy

Antonietta Mira

Università della Svizzera italiana - InterDisciplinary Institute of Data Science ( email )

Via Giuseppe Buffi 13
CH-6900 Lugano, CH-6904
Switzerland

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