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Status effects of the German Excellence Initiative

Kerstin Bruckmeier, Georg-Benedikt Fischer and Berthold Wigger ()

International Journal of Economics and Finance, 2017, vol. 9, issue 3, 177-183

Abstract: Being granted a title enhances the status of the awardee while its loss has an opposite effect. The present article examines whether the latter effect dominates the former in the sense that elevation is less status-enhancing than relegation is status-damaging. Thereto, we use the three consecutive rounds of the German Excellence Initiative (a publicly funded program to promote outstanding research at German universities) as a natural experiment. We provide evidence that the loss of the title as a so-called ¡°elite university¡± had a negative effect on the number of first year students. In contrast, we find no evidence for a positive effect on the number of first year students when a university is granted the title. Placebo tests suggest that this effect is in fact due to the loss of the elite status and does not result from a decline in university quality.

Keywords: reputation effect; excellence initiative; enrolment numbers (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: R00 Z0 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ibn:ijefaa:v:9:y:2017:i:3:p:177-183

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