*Doing More With Less*

That's a new book out, edited by Joshua C. Hall, and it is a collection of essays with the subtitle Making Colleges Work Better.  My essay in the volume, co-authored with Sam Papenfuss, is a look at for-profit higher education.  It's not about the recent lending scandals, but rather the general question of why for-profits do quite well in vocational areas and in areas where the student is eventually certified by relatively objective tests.  Non-profits, in contrast, remain dominant in the liberal arts and in areas where quality is harder to measure.  What can we learn from this pattern of market segmentation about a) the true nature of education, and b) trust and agency problems in both non-profits and for-profits?  These cross-sectional questions have received surprisingly little attention and for-profit education in general has not attracted much research scrutiny, relative to its size and rate of growth.  Yet these questions date back to Plato, Socrates, and the Sophists.  Overall I believe that the not-for-profit model for higher education is robust.

Here is an interesting article on the recent growth in elite for-profit schools at the high school level and below.


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