Academic Crossover and Functional Differentiation of Universities


This study is motivated by a theoretical deficiency in the research on internal resource allocation and functional differentiation of higher education institutions in relation with their prestige maximizing behaviors. Our finding, despite its purely theoretical nature, suggests that a prestige-maximizing college or university achieves the highest potential prestige by optimally allocating its limited resources and equalizing the prestige of the closely associated academic departments or disciplines. The result certainly indicates that the interdisciplinary activities and functional differentiation, which represent two major efforts found in the recent higher education community, have indeed counteractive effects on their separate objectives.

Share and Cite:

Y. Abe and S. Watanabe, "Academic Crossover and Functional Differentiation of Universities," Theoretical Economics Letters, Vol. 2 No. 3, 2012, pp. 337-340. doi: 10.4236/tel.2012.23061.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] P. J. Gumport and M. N. Bastedo, “Academic Stratification and Endemic Conflict: Remedial Education Policy at CUNY,” The Review of Higher Education, Vol. 24, No. 4, 2001, pp. 333-349. doi:10.1353/rhe.2001.0009
[2] C. Nelms, K. R. R. G. Louis, F. C. Richardson, M. Roberts, J. Schmit and M. Wilkerson, “Mission Differentiation at Indiana University: Eight Campus Identity, One Shared Destiny,” Final Report of the Mission Differentiation Project, 2005.
[3] Y. Abe and S. P. Watanabe, “A New Approach to Analyzing University Prestige and Internal Resource Allocation: Geometric Interpretations and Implications,” Research and Occasional Paper Series, University of California, Berkeley, 2012.
[4] Y. Abe and S. P. Watanabe, “A Theory of Optimal Resource Allocation and Prestige Maximization of Universities,” Unpublished Working Paper, 2012.
[5] Y. Abe and S. P. Watanabe, “The Impact of Different Funding Schemes on Functional Differentiation of Universities,” Unpublished Working Paper, 2012.
[6] W. J. Baumol, J. C. Panzar and R. D. Willig, “Contestable Markets and the Theory of Industry Structure,” Marcourt Brace Jovanovich, New York, 1982.
[7] D. W. Breneman, “The Ph.D. Production Process,” In: J. T. Froomkin, D. T. Jamison and R. Radner, Eds., Education as an Industry, National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, 1976, pp. 1-52.
[8] D. J. Brewer, S. M. Gates and C. A. Goldman, “In Pursuit of Prestige: Strategy and Competition in US Higher Education,” Transaction Publishers, Piscataway, 2001.
[9] P. Cyrenne and H. Grant, “University Decision Making and Prestige: An Empirical Study,” Economics of Education Review, Vol. 28, No. 2, 2009, pp. 237-248. doi:10.1016/j.econedurev.2008.06.001
[10] E. Del Rey, “Teaching versus Research: A Model of State University Competition,” Journal of Urban Economics, Vol. 49, No. 2, 2001, pp. 356-373. doi:10.1006/juec.2000.2193

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.