chapter  3
22 Pages

American universities as endogenous institutions

Introduction Universities, of course, perform a variety of functions, but my main interest in our present context is in the role universities playas producers and transmitters of economically useful knowledge, by which I mean primarily technological knowledge. More specifically, I want to suggest that American universities differ from those of other countries in the greater speed and greater extent of their response to changing economic circumstances. In characterizing them in such fashion, I mean to suggest that there is much about their behavior that can be understood as endogenous, or at least as a good deal more endogenous than the universities of other countries. I want to examine them, then, from a comparative international perspective, even, to some extent, from an industrial organization (10) perspective. Perhaps a more appropriate title for this chapter, then, would be "American universities: structure and performance."