Understanding and Using Efficiency and Equity Criteria in the Study of Higher Education Policy

  • Stephen L. DesJardins
Part of the Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research book series (HATR, volume 17)


Policy makers often have to make decisions about how resources are to be used in furthering societal objectives. Because resources are scarce, one of the objectives that decision-makers strive for is to allocate these resources among alternative uses in an efficient manner. Another objective that public policymakers often pursue is to distribute scarce resources among individuals and groups in an equitable manner. In their analysis and deliberation, policy makers often view “efficiency” in allocation and “equity” in distribution as criteria that guide them in their decision-making.2


High Education Difference Principle Social Welfare Function Indifference Curve Social Objective 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen L. DesJardins
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of IowaUSA

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