The NBER's Working Group on Higher Education met in Cambridge on May 2. Charles T. Clotfelter, NBER and Duke University, organized this program:
Julie B. Cullen, NBER and University of Michigan; Mark C. Long, George Washington University; and Randall Reback, University of Michigan, "Jockeying for Position: High School Student Mobility and Texas' Top-Ten Percent Rule"
Discussant: Caroline M. Hoxby, NBER and Harvard University
Richard A. Jensen, University of Notre Dame, and Marie Thursby, NBER and Georgia Institute of Technology, "The Academic Effects of Patentable Research"
Discussant: Jerry R. Green, NBER and Harvard University
Sandy Baum, Skidmore College, and Eben Goodstein, Lewis and Clark College, "Affirmative Action for Guys? The Consequences of Gender Imbalance in College Applications"
Discussant: Linda Loury, Tufts University
Malcolm Getz and John J. Siegfried, Vanderbilt University, "Where Do the Children of Professors Attend College?"
Discussant: Christopher Avery, NBER and Harvard University
Larry D. Singell, Jr., and Joe A. Stone, University of Oregon, "For Whom the Pell Toils: Market Power, Tuition Discrimination, and the Bennett Hypothesis"
Discussant: Bridget T Long, Harvard University
Beginning in 1998, all high school students in the state of Texas who graduated in the top 10 percent of their class were guaranteed admission to any public higher education institution, including the University of Texas. While the goal of the policy was to improve access for disadvantaged and minority students, the use of a school-specific standard to determine eligibility could have unintended consequences. Students may benefit from switching schools near the end of their high school career in order to change their peer reference group and to increase the chances of being in the top 10 percent. In their analysis of student mobility patterns before and after the policy change, Cullen, Long, and Reback find evidence that these strategic moves did occur.
Jensen and Thursby examine concerns about whether recent changes in patent policy that increased the ability and the incentives for U.S. universities to patent inventions have been detrimental to academic research and education. They analyze a model in which a researcher allocates time between applied and basic research, given administration choices of salary and teaching load. The choice depends on a "composite" marginal rate of substitution of applied-for-basic research which takes into...