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Research Seminar #29: How much do universities’ expenditures matter for research performance?
Oct 25 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Presenter: Jürgen Janger, Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO), Austria
Discussant: Cinzia Daraio, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy
We use European Tertiary Education Register (ETER) and CWTS Leiden bibliometric data to investigate the link between expenditures and research output. We first take a detailed look at the expenditure data in ETER to document important aspects which have to be controlled for with a view to using them as a determinant of research output. We statistically merge specialised universities with comprehensive ones to prevent bias due to large cost differences between fields of study such as medicine and humanities. We discuss issues related to the number of students as a scaling device, pointing out the prevalence of registered but not fully active students. We document large differences in the expenditures per student of ETERinstitutions, both within and between countries, informing on the stratification of higher education systems. We match ETER institutional data with CWTS Leiden bibliometric data and assess the role of expenditures–controlling for size–for research performance. First results indicate a non-linear relationship, with top research productivity associated with disproportionately rising expenditures.