RISIS Seminar: How much do universities' expenditures matter for research performance?


Institute of Communication and Public Policy

Date: 25 October 2023 / 12:30 - 14:00

Online (Please register to receive the meeting details)

Presenter: Jürgen Janger, the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO), Austria

Discussant: Cinzia Daraio, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy


We use the European Tertiary Education Register (ETER) and CWTSLeiden 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 that have to be controlled 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 institutions, 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. The first results indicate a non-linear relationship, with top research productivity associated with disproportionately rising expenditures.


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Video & Presentation Slides


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