Campus Economics: How Economic Thinking Can Help Improve College and University Decisions

An invaluable primer on the role economic reasoning plays in campus debate and decision making


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Published (US):
Feb 14, 2023
Published (UK):
Apr 11, 2023
6.13 x 9.25 in.
23 b/w illus. 7 tables.
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Campus Economics provides college and university administrators, trustees, and faculty with an essential understanding of how college finances actually work. Sandy Baum and Michael McPherson explain the concepts needed to analyze the pros, the cons, and the trade-offs of difficult decisions, and offer a common language for discussing the many challenges confronting institutions of higher learning today, from COVID-19 to funding cuts and declining enrollments.

Emphasizing the unique characteristics of the academic enterprise and the primacy of the institutional mission, Baum and McPherson use economic concepts such as opportunity cost and decisions at the margin to facilitate conversations about how best to ensure an institution’s ongoing success. The problems facing higher education are more urgent than ever before, but the underlying issues are the same in good times and bad. Baum and McPherson give nontechnical, user-friendly guidance for navigating all kinds of economic conditions and draw on real-world examples of campus issues to illustrate both institutional constraints and untapped opportunities.

Campus Economics helps faculty, administrators, trustees, and government policymakers engage in constructive dialogue that can lead to decisions that align finite resources with the pursuit of the institutional mission.

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