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Full-Text Articles in Social and Behavioral Sciences

Reaching For The Brass Ring: The U.S. News & World Report Rankings And Competition, Ronald Ehrenberg Nov 2012

Reaching For The Brass Ring: The U.S. News & World Report Rankings And Competition, Ronald Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] The behavior of academic institutions, including the extent to which they collaborate on academic and nonacademic matters, is shaped by many factors. This paper focuses on one of these factors, the U.S. News & World Report (USNWR) annual ranking of the nation’s colleges and universities as undergraduate institutions, exploring how this ranking exacerbates the competitiveness among American higher education institutions. After presenting some evidence on the importance of the USNWR rankings to both public and private institutions at all levels along the selectivity spectrum, I describe how the rankings actually are calculated, then discuss how academic institutions alter ...


Crafting A Class: The Trade-Off Between Merit Scholarships And Enrolling Lower-Income Students, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Liang Zhang, Jared M. Levin Nov 2012

Crafting A Class: The Trade-Off Between Merit Scholarships And Enrolling Lower-Income Students, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Liang Zhang, Jared M. Levin

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] It is well known that test scores are correlated with students’ socio-economic backgrounds. Hence, to the extent that colleges are successful in “buying” higher test-score students, one should expect that their enrollment of students from families in the lower tails of the family income distribution should decline. However, somewhat surprisingly, there have been no efforts to test if this is occurring. Our paper presents such a test. While institutional-level data on the dollar amounts of merit scholarships offered by colleges and universities are not available, data are available on the number of National Merit Scholarship (NMS) winners attending an ...


The 1995 Nrc Ratings Of Doctoral Programs: A Hedonic Model, Ronald Ehrenberg, Peter Hurst Nov 2012

The 1995 Nrc Ratings Of Doctoral Programs: A Hedonic Model, Ronald Ehrenberg, Peter Hurst

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

We describe how one can use multivariate regression models and data collected by the National Research Council as part of its recent ranking of doctoral programs (Research-Doctorate Programs in the United States: Continuity and Change) to analyze how measures of program size, faculty seniority, faculty research productivity, and faculty productivity in producing doctoral degrees influence subjective ratings of doctoral programs in 35 academic fields. Using data for one of the fields, economics, we illustrate how university administrators can use the models to compute the impact of changing the number of faculty positions they allocate to the field on the ranking ...


The Impact Of U.S. News & World Report College Rankings On Admissions Outcomes And Pricing Policies At Selective Private Institutions, James Monks, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Nov 2012

The Impact Of U.S. News & World Report College Rankings On Admissions Outcomes And Pricing Policies At Selective Private Institutions, James Monks, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Despite the widespread popularity of the U.S. News & World Report College rankings there has been no empirical analysis of the impact of these rankings on applications, admissions, and enrollment decisions, as well as on institutions' pricing policies. Our analyses indicate that a less favorable rank leads an institution to accept a greater percentage of its applicants, a smaller percentage of its admitted applicants matriculate, and the resulting entering class is of lower quality, as measured by its average SAT scores. While tuition levels are not responsive to less favorable rankings, institutions offer less visible price discounts in the form ...


Faculty Turnover At American Colleges And Universities: Analyses Of Aaup Data, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Hirschel Kasper, Daniel Rees Nov 2012

Faculty Turnover At American Colleges And Universities: Analyses Of Aaup Data, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Hirschel Kasper, Daniel Rees

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

This paper uses institutional level data collected by the American Association of University Professors as part of their annual survey of faculty members' compensation to analyze faculty turnover. Analyses of aggregate data over almost a twenty-year period highlight how remarkably stable faculty retention rates have been nationwide and how little they vary across broad categories of institutions. Analyses of variations in faculty retention rates across individual institutions stress the role that faculty compensation levels play. Higher levels of compensation appear to increase retention rates for assistant and associate professors (but not for full professors) and the magnitude of this effect ...


Advance Notice Provisions In Plant Closing Legislation: Do They Matter?, Ronald Ehrenberg, George Jakubson Nov 2012

Advance Notice Provisions In Plant Closing Legislation: Do They Matter?, Ronald Ehrenberg, George Jakubson

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

This paper evaluates the cases for and against plant closing legislation. In spite of the growth of legislative efforts in the area, there has been surprisingly little effort devoted to analyzing what the effects are of existing plant closing legislation, of provisions in privately negotiated collective bargaining agreements that provide for advance notice in case of plant shutdowns and/or layoffs, and of voluntary employer provision of advance notice. The paper summarizes the results of previous research, and our own empirical analyses that used the January 1984 Bureau of Labor Statistics Survey of Displaced Workers, on the effects of advance ...


Did Teachers’ Race And Verbal Ability Matter In The 1960’S? Coleman Revisited, Ronald Ehrenberg, Dominic Brewer Nov 2012

Did Teachers’ Race And Verbal Ability Matter In The 1960’S? Coleman Revisited, Ronald Ehrenberg, Dominic Brewer

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Our paper reanalyzes data from the classic 1966 study Equality of Educational Opportunity, or Coleman Report. It addresses whether teacher characteristics, including race and verbal ability, influenced "synthetic gain scores" of students (mean test scores of upper grade students in a school minus mean test scores of lower grade students in a school), in the context of an econometric model that allows for the possibility that teacher characteristics in a school are endogenously determined. We find that verbal aptitude scores of teachers influenced synthetic gain scores for both black and white students. Verbal aptitude mattered as much for black teachers ...


Paying Our Presidents: What Do Trustees Value?, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, John J. Cheslock, Julia Epifantseva Nov 2012

Paying Our Presidents: What Do Trustees Value?, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, John J. Cheslock, Julia Epifantseva

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Our study makes use of data from a panel of over 400 private colleges and universities on their presidents’ salaries and benefits. These data, reported annually to the Internal Revenue Service on Form 990, have been collected by and reported in the Chronicle of Higher Education for academic years 1992–1993 through 1997–1998. We merge these data with those from other sources including the American Association of University Professors, the American Council on Education, Who’s Who in America, the National Association of College and University Business Officers, the Council on Aid to Education, and the National Science Foundation ...


Financial Forecasts For The Next Decade, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Oct 2012

Financial Forecasts For The Next Decade, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] Harold Hovey pointed out that the outlook for state funding of public higher education institutions during the first decade of the 21st century might not be as rosy as it has been during the last five years. The pictures I have painted of the financial futures for American public and private higher education echo his concerns. If sustained economic growth continues, academic institutions' financial prospects will be somewhat brighter. However, it is clear that the well-being of colleges and universities nationwide depends upon their diversifying their sources of revenues. Through their efforts to do so, the publics will end ...


Dissecting The Workforce And Workplace For Clinical Endocrinology, And The Work Of Endocrinologists Early In Their Careers, Claude Desjardins, Mark A. Bach, Anne R. Cappola, Ellen W. Seely, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Oct 2012

Dissecting The Workforce And Workplace For Clinical Endocrinology, And The Work Of Endocrinologists Early In Their Careers, Claude Desjardins, Mark A. Bach, Anne R. Cappola, Ellen W. Seely, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] No national mechanism is in place for an informed, penetrating, and systematic assessment of the physician workforce such as that achieved by the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the periodic evaluation of the nation’s scientists and engineers. Likewise, knowledge of the workforce for clinical research is enigmatic and fragmentary despite the serial recommendations of “blue-ribbon” panels to establish a protocol for the recurrent assessment of clinical investigators early in their careers. Failure to adopt a national system for producing timely, high-quality data on the professional activities of physicians limits the application of improvement tools for advancing clinical investigation ...


On Estimating The Effects Of Increased Aid To Education, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Richard P. Chaykowski Oct 2012

On Estimating The Effects Of Increased Aid To Education, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Richard P. Chaykowski

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] The 1983 report, A Nation at Risk, of the National Commission on Excellence in Education decried the state of public education in the United States and suggested a number of reforms. Among their recommendations was increased federal aid for education. The view was that this would lead to desirable outcomes such as reduced class sizes and higher teacher salaries, with the latter aiding in the recruitment and retention of high-quality teachers. Somewhat surprisingly, previous research on the economics of education provides us with very few insights about what the effects of such proposals might be. For example, while there ...


Workers’ Rights: Rethinking Protective Labor Legislation, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Oct 2012

Workers’ Rights: Rethinking Protective Labor Legislation, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

This paper focuses on a few directions in which protective labor legislation might be expanded in the United States over the next decade and the implications of expansion in each area for labor markets. Specifically, it addresses the areas of hours of work, unjust dismissal, comparable worth, and plant closings. In each case, the discussion stresses the need to be explicit about how private markets have failed, the need for empirical evidence to test such market failure claims, the need for economic analysis of potential unintended side effects of policy changes, and the existing empirical estimates of the likely magnitudes ...


Introduction To Doctoral Education And The Faculty Of The Future, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Oct 2012

Introduction To Doctoral Education And The Faculty Of The Future, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] Concern has been expressed, however, that the growing enrollment of foreign students in American PhD programs "crowds out" potential American citizen PhD holders and discourages them from pursuing PhD study. On the other hand, the aftermath of 9/11, the growth of research infrastructure and research support in other nations, and the growth of other nations' higher education systems all cast doubt on the ability of the United States to continue to rely on foreign PhD holders to meet our nation's need for scientific researchers and to fill future faculty positions. Given all of these issues, in October ...


Changing The Education Of Scholars: An Introduction To The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’S Graduate Education Initiative, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Harriet Zuckerman, Jeffrey A. Groen, Sharon M. Brucker Oct 2012

Changing The Education Of Scholars: An Introduction To The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’S Graduate Education Initiative, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Harriet Zuckerman, Jeffrey A. Groen, Sharon M. Brucker

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] In 1991 the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation launched the Graduate Education Initiative (GEI) to improve the structure and organization of PhD programs in the humanities and social sciences and to combat the high rates of student attrition and long time to degree completion prevailing in these fields. While attrition and time to completion were deemed to be important in and of themselves, and of great significance to degree seekers, they were also seen more broadly as indicators of the effectiveness of graduate programs. An array of characteristics of doctoral programs was earmarked as likely contributors to high attrition and ...


Does America Face A Shortage Of Scientists And Engineers?, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Oct 2012

Does America Face A Shortage Of Scientists And Engineers?, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] As someone who served on the committee that issued the 1998 study of the early careers of life scientists that Teitelbaum talks about in his article and who has critiqued models that projected shortages of new PhDs, I am very sympathetic to many of the points that he makes (National Research Council, 1998; Ehrenberg, 1991). What I want to focus on today is the word we in his title, because, as Teitelbaum emphasizes, the question of shortages or surpluses is often in the eye of the beholder. For example, from the perspective of faculty members involved in the academic ...


Do Historically Black Colleges And Universities Enhance The College Attendance Of African American Youths?, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Donna S. Rothstein, Robert B. Olsen Oct 2012

Do Historically Black Colleges And Universities Enhance The College Attendance Of African American Youths?, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Donna S. Rothstein, Robert B. Olsen

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Recently, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have become the center of intense policy debates. Do HBCUs enhance the college attendance of African American youths? Previous research has been inconclusive. Among other improvements, our study adjusts for the relative availability of HBCU enrollment opportunities in each state. We find that African Americans are more likely to choose HBCUs over other colleges if more HBCU openings are available. However, more HBCU openings don't increase overall African American enrollment. As we have shown elsewhere, attendance at an HBCU does enhance African American students' college graduation rates.


Method Or Madness? Inside The U.S. News & World Report College Rankings, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Oct 2012

Method Or Madness? Inside The U.S. News & World Report College Rankings, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] The rankings exacerbate, but are not the major cause of the increased competition in American higher education that has taken place over the last few decades. The real shame is that this competition has institutions focusing on improving the selectivity of their entering first-year classes. Institutions appear to be increasingly valued for the test scores of the students they attract, not for their value added to their students and to society.


Phd Attainment Of Graduates Of Selective Private Academic Institutions, Jeffrey A. Groen, Matthew P. Nagowski, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Oct 2012

Phd Attainment Of Graduates Of Selective Private Academic Institutions, Jeffrey A. Groen, Matthew P. Nagowski, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] It is therefore important to understand the forces that have caused a decline in the PhD attainment rate of American college graduates. The fraction of bachelor's recipients who go on to receive PhDs nationwide is influenced by many factors, including high school graduation rates, college enrollment rates of high school graduates, college graduation rates for college enrollees, the distribution of undergraduate majors, and the academic backgrounds of college students. PhD attainment also depends upon changes in the economic rewards to pursuing PhD study relative to entering the workforce or pursuing study for other professional occupations, such as law ...


The American University: Dilemmas And Directions, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Oct 2012

The American University: Dilemmas And Directions, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] American research universities clearly are national treasures. Over the past decade, however, these institutions have increasingly come under attack for a wide variety of alleged sins. Further, their economic bases are increasingly being eroded because of budget problems at federal and state levels, coupled with increased demand for resources to meet competing social needs, such as health care. Thus, although American universities are national treasures, many fear they are entering a period of decline and may well prove to be an endangered species. Why are research universities being attacked, and why are their supporters in both the private and ...


Generation X: Redefining The Norms Of The Academy, Ronald Ehrenberg Oct 2012

Generation X: Redefining The Norms Of The Academy, Ronald Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] The members of Generation X are the young faculty members of today and the immediate future. The panelists at this session of the conference were asked to discuss the effects of this generation on academic norms and institutional governance and the types of new models that may be emerging for academia as a result of them. More specifically, they were asked if the attitudes and loyalties of these young faculty members really do differ from that of the Baby Boom Generation, how their attitudes and behavior affect graduate programs, what academic institutions will need to do to attract the ...


A Brief Guide To The Aaup Salary Data, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Oct 2012

A Brief Guide To The Aaup Salary Data, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] The AAUP data not only document faculty salary levels, but may also play a role in determining future levels. They represent average data for all full-time faculty members at the university, excluding faculty in medical colleges and health sciences. Thus, they can not be used to compare salaries within a discipline across institutions. They have long been used, however, by faculty on budget or finance committees to inform discussions with central administrators regarding the parameters of the next year’s budget (e.g. tuition increases, faculty salary increases, and endowment payout rates). Often, the faculty and administration will agree ...


Faculty Retirement Policies After The End Of Mandatory Retirement, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Michael J. Rizzo Oct 2012

Faculty Retirement Policies After The End Of Mandatory Retirement, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Michael J. Rizzo

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] The findings we report above have implications for both institutions and their faculty members. In some states, rapidly growing college age cohorts will require academic institutions to hire large numbers of new faculty in the years ahead to fill positions created to meet the expanding demand for enrollments. Nationally, institutions will have to replace a large number of retiring faculty members in the years ahead. This suggests that most institutions’ concern in upcoming years will not be how to encourage their faculty members to retire. Rather, their concern will be how to continue to draw on the skills of ...


Introduction: Choices In Education, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Sep 2012

Introduction: Choices In Education, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] Society has high expectations for our educational system, and social science research should contribute to helping meet these expectations. Research on the choices that participants in the system make, and on the consequences of these choices, is particularly useful and often provides information that is directly relevant to the policy debate. Thus the four chapters in this volume all address the choices, and the consequences of choices, made by students, teachers, and school administrators. They are grouped together in this book in the belief that providing them this way will increase their influence on public policy.


Cornell Confronts The End Of Mandatory Retirement, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Michael W. Matier, David Fontanella Sep 2012

Cornell Confronts The End Of Mandatory Retirement, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Michael W. Matier, David Fontanella

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] In July 1995, the first author of this paper was appointed vice president of academic programs, planning and budgeting at Cornell and, at his initiative, a joint faculty-administrative committee was subsequently established, with him as chair, to look into how the university should respond to the elimination of mandatory retirement. In this chapter, we discuss the environment in which the university found itself when the committee was established, the recommendations of the committee, faculty reactions to the recommendations, and the actions that the university ultimately decided to pursue.


No Longer Forced Out: How One Institution Is Dealing With The End Of Mandatory Retirement, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Sep 2012

No Longer Forced Out: How One Institution Is Dealing With The End Of Mandatory Retirement, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

: [Excerpt] Why should academic institutions or their faculty care about the end of mandatory retirement for tenured faculty, which became effective in January 1994? From the perspective of an individual tenured faculty member who wants to continue her career beyond age seventy, the elimination is a welcome event. In the past, faculty members who wanted to remain active after reaching seventy had to negotiate their status with institutions that were under no legal obligation to allow them to continue. Now, however, tenured faculty members have the legal right to continue indefinitely in their tenured appointments. From the point of view ...


American Higher Education In Transition, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Sep 2012

American Higher Education In Transition, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] In public higher education, tuition increases in recent decades have barely offset a long-run decline in state appropriations per full-time equivalent student. State appropriations per full-time equivalent student at public higher educational institutions averaged $6,454 in fiscal year 2010; at its peak in fiscal year 1987, the comparable number (in constant dollars) was $7,993 (State Higher Education Executive Officers 2011, figure 3), translating into a decline of 19 percent over the period. Even if one leaves out the "Great Recession," real state appropriations per full-time equivalent student were still lower in fiscal year 2008 than they were ...


Part-Time Employment In The United States, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Pamela Rosenberg, Jeanne Li Sep 2012

Part-Time Employment In The United States, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Pamela Rosenberg, Jeanne Li

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] To say that part-time workers are less costly than full-time workers, however, is not an explanation for the trend in the use of part-time employees that has occurred. Rather, one must show that the relative cost advantage of part-time workers has increased over time and that variations in the relative cost advantage are associated with variations in the usage of part-time employment. Somewhat surprisingly, few researchers have tried to do this, and even these only indirectly. This paper addresses this issue, albeit in a slightly different way, focusing on data from the United States. We begin in the next ...


Do Historically Black Institutions Of Higher Education Confer Unique Advantages On Black Students? An Initial Analysis, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Donna S. Rothstein Sep 2012

Do Historically Black Institutions Of Higher Education Confer Unique Advantages On Black Students? An Initial Analysis, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Donna S. Rothstein

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] Despite the declining relative importance of HBIs in the production of black bachelor's degrees, in recent years they have become the subject of intense public policy debate for two reasons. First, court cases have been filed in a number of southern states that assert that black students continue to be underrepresented at traditionally white public institutions, that discriminatory admissions criteria are used by these institutions to exclude black students (e.g., basing admissions only on test scores and not also on grades), and that per student funding levels, program availability, and library facilities are substantially poorer at public ...


Financial Forces And The Future Of American Higher Education, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Michael J. Rizzo Sep 2012

Financial Forces And The Future Of American Higher Education, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Michael J. Rizzo

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Recent shifts in state funding are altering the most basic realities of American higher education, from student access to faculty research.


Don't Blame Faculty For High Tuition: The Annual Report On The Economic Status Of The Profession, 2003-04, Ronald Ehrenberg Sep 2012

Don't Blame Faculty For High Tuition: The Annual Report On The Economic Status Of The Profession, 2003-04, Ronald Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] The bottom line is that although faculty and staff salary in-creases obviously contribute to increases in tuition, other factors have played more important roles during the last quarter century. These factors include the escalating costs of benefits for all employees, reductions in state support of public institutions, growing institutional financial-aid costs, expansion of the science and research infrastructure at research universities, and the increasing costs of information technology. If tuition and fee increases had been held to the rate of average faculty salary increases during this period, average tuition and fees would be substantially lower today in both the ...