Kevin Stange's research on the impact higher tuition rates may have on student enrollment in high-cost disciplines is being discussed by a number of news outlets.
In the paper, "Differential Pricing in Undergraduate Education: Effects on Degree Production by Field," Stange found that three years after public universities impose tuition hikes, enrollment in engineering declined by 1.1 percentage points (on a base of 14.7 percent). There were smaller declines in business program enrollments and small but statistically insignificant increases in nursing program enrollments.
The research was conducted at public universities that charge different tuition rates for high-cost undergraduate majors. Tuition rate increases were more likely to influence the enrollment decisions of minorities and women, the study also found.
This research suggests that raising tuition in expensive majors might offset any financial gains, as fewer students may enroll in those programs.
Stange authored the NBER working paper in June, and it has been featured or discussed in a number of outlets, including: