Friday, July 9, 2010

Endowment shocks have variable effects

Now this is the kind of higher education research I find fascinating: "We find that universities with larger negative endowment shocks are relatively more likely to: (1) reduce support staff (e.g., secretaries) and maintenance, but not administrators; (2) among less selective institutions, reduce expenditures on tenure-system faculty while increasing the average salary of adjuncts/lecturers; (3) make larger cuts to tenure-system faculty and secretarial support when their endowment portfolio is less liquid (i.e. higher allocations to alternative assets such as hedge funds); and (4) among more selective universities, reduce financial aid for students the following Fall and enroll fewer freshmen. We also find that universities increase hiring when there are negative endowment shocks to their peers."

I think it's important in the area of finance to remember that one dollar is not equal to any other dollar. Where it comes from influences how it is spent. (And I don't just say this because I've co-authored a paper on the topic.)

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