Avoiding Tunnel Vision in the Study of Higher Education Costs
Much of the literature on the causes of rising costs in higher education focuses on specific features and pathologies of decision-making within colleges and universities. We argue that this inward-looking focus on the specifics of higher education as an industry is a form of tunnel vision that can lead to poor public policy decisions. In this paper we show that cost disease and capital-skill complementarity are two crucially important causes of rising costs in higher education. These two economy-wide forces are something higher education shares with other skilled-labor-intensive services.