The Economics of For-Profit Education

  • Tyler Cowen
  • Sam Papenfuss


For-profit higher education has grown rapidly in the United States over the last 20 years. Examples include vocational schools, technical training, in-house corporate education, the DeVry Institute, Phoenix University, and other new for-profit ­colleges. In addition, a number of developing countries, most prominently the Philippines, have experimented with for-profit higher education in the past. Adam Smith, writing in 1776, associated for-profit education with high levels of ­instructional quality, and claimed that endowed, nonprofit education resulted in shirking and poor teaching.


Agency Problem Faculty Governance Nonprofit Institution Academic Reputation Nonprofit Status 
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Copyright information

© Springer New York 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.George Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA

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