The purpose of The Political Economy of the Educational Process is to demonstrate in an elemental way what economics can contribute to our understanding of how education occurs. Although in ways similar, the book is significantly different from other studies in the economics of education. Other works are primarily concerned with the effects which education (or, to use the economist's jargon, human capital) has on production, market efficiency, and the distri bution of income. The central concern of this book is how and why the student goes about acquiring whatever human capital he wishes and how the institutional setting of the university influences the amount of human capital that the student acquires. This book deals with the learning process and, therefore, draws upon an earlier book written by Robert Staaf and myself. 1 However, the "economic theory of learning," which Staaf and I developed earlier in very pre cise mathematical terms, is extended here through a fuller treat ment of the political environment in which education occurs. A major concern of this work is to make the economic analysis easily understood by professional educators and social scientists generally. To accomplish this objective, Chapter 2 develops for the non economicists the tools of analysis which are used throughout the book. Hopefully, by shying away from esoteric theory and by try ing to make the discussion provocative and informative, the book 1. See Richard B. McKenzie and Robert J.
1. An introduction to economics and the economics of education.- 1.1. Theory: a matter of necessity.- 1.2. The basics of economic theory.- 1.3. A final preliminary note.- 2. The basics of the economic model.- 2.1. An introductory statement.- 2.2. A more complex statement: the student's opportunity set.- 2.3. The student's preference structure.- 2.4. The logic of student choice.- 2.5. Concluding comments.- 3. Student preferences, abilities, and performance.- 3.1. Student preferences 3.- 3.2. Student abilities.- 3.2.1. Different levels of initial achievement.- 3.2.2. Different aptitudes.- 3.3. Efficiency gains and the evaluation of the professor.- 4. Professor preferences, public goods, and student performance.- 4.1. Faculty choice and student achievement.- 4.2. Student quality and faculty effort.- 4.2.1. Different initial achievement levels.- 4.2.2. Different aptitudes.- 4.2.3. Different initial endowments and aptitudes.- 4.3. Classroom technology, teacher ability, and faculty effort.- 4.4. Teaching as a public good.- 4.5. Concluding comments.- 5. Is teaching the best way to learn?.- 5.1. The effects of student proctoring.- 5.2. The illusion of cost-benefit analysis.- 5.3. Optimum learning.- 5.4. Student aptitude once again.- 5.5. The institutional setting and educational change.- 6. The effects of grade inflation on student evaluation and performance.- 6.1. The model.- 6.2. Grade influation.- 6.3. Real grade influation.- 6.4. Empirical tests.- 6.5. Concluding comments.- 7. The evaluation and pay of faculty.- 7.1. Research findings: the effects of research and teaching on faculty pay.- 7.1.1. The Katz study.- 7.1.2. The Koch-Chizmar study.- 7.1.3. The Tuckman-Chapinski-Hagemann study.- 7.1.4. The Siegfried-White study.- 7.1.5. Interim summary of conclusion.- 7.2. Research findings: the influence of research on teaching effectiveness.- 7.3. The evaluation of faculty: the interactive effects of student and faculty efforts and academic freedoms.- 7.4. The pay system.- 7.4.1. The lump-sum pay method.- 7.4.2. Accountability.- 7.5. Concluding comments.- 8. Committees, "Comment Pollutions," and the internal governance of universities.- 8.1 Comments as public goods.- 8.2. The judgement of committeemen.- 8.3. Concluding comments.- 9. The citizenship argument for education.- 9.1. Citizenship, public goods, and economics.- 9.2. Public choice view.- 9.3. Counterarguments.- 9.4. Course content for rational students.- 9.5. Concluding comments.- 10. The academic market, intercollegiate sports, and academic standards.- 10.1. A supply and demand model of the education market.- 10.2. The impact of intercollegiate sports.- 10.3. Concluding comments.- 11. Cheating and chiseling.- 11.1. The prevalence of cheating.- 11.2. The effects of cheating.- 11.3. The rationality of cheating.- 11.4. Chiseling.- 12. Postscript.