Research in Higher Education

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 169–179

The role of the student in the higher education production function

  • Jane Louise Johnson

DOI: 10.1007/BF00977398

Cite this article as:
Johnson, J.L. Res High Educ (1978) 9: 169. doi:10.1007/BF00977398


Increasing concern with productivity and efficiency in service industries such as higher education has created interest in cost analysis techniques, implicit in which must be some notion of the production function, that is, the technology by which inputs are combined to produce outputs. In order to clarify the existing confusion in higher education between inputs and outputs, and to offer aid in understanding the complex issues of productivity and efficiency, this paper offers a paradigm of the student as an economic entity analogous to the profit-maximizing firm in microeconomic theory. The paper concludes by suggesting an extension of the model to include the faculty member as an individual economic agent.

Key words

production function higher education productivity efficiency 

Copyright information

© APS Publications, Inc. 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jane Louise Johnson
    • 1
  1. 1.Higher Education DQ-12University of WashingtonSeattle

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