American Economic Review: Vol. 104 No. 5 (May 2014)

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The Economics of Online Postsecondary Education: MOOCs, Nonselective Education, and Highly Selective Education

Article Citation

Hoxby, Caroline M. 2014. "The Economics of Online Postsecondary Education: MOOCs, Nonselective Education, and Highly Selective Education." American Economic Review, 104(5): 528-33.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.104.5.528

Abstract

I consider economically sustainable online postsecondary education, including massive open online courses (MOOCs). The analysis suggests that MOOCs will be financially sustainable substitutes for some non-selective postsecondary education, but there are substantial risks. The analysis suggests that MOOCs will be financially sustainable substitutes for only a small share of highly selective postsecondary education (HSPE) and are likely to collapse the economic model that allows HSPE institutions to invest in advanced education and research. I outline a non-MOOC model of online education that may allow HSPE institutions to sustain their distinctive activities and to reach a larger number of students.

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Authors

Hoxby, Caroline M. (Stanford U)

JEL Classifications

I23: Higher Education; Research Institutions


American Economic Review


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