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Nonoptimal use of nontraditional education

Economics of Education Review Volume 19, Number 1 ISSN 0272-7757 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


Many universities are implementing nontraditional programs for working adults using adjunct, nontraditional faculty as temporary workers. This practice is defended as economically necessary. However, no economic theory of this practice has been developed. In a simple model of private universities with two products, traditional and nontraditional education, surplus is maximized subject to market demand for traditional and nontraditional education. Tuition and faculty staffing are choice variables. Marketing and library services are fixed at predetermined levels. The results are consistent with conventional price theory: to operate optimally, the firm pays each input the value of its marginal product, adjusted by the appropriate price elasticity of demand. If the university is modeled as a firm, traditional education is tuition elastic and nontraditional education is tuition inelastic, then traditional faculty are optimally paid more than nontraditional faculty only when traditional tuition is higher than nontraditional tuition. [JEL Code: L31]


Horton, M.J. Nonoptimal use of nontraditional education. Economics of Education Review, 19(1), 107-111. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved March 23, 2023 from .

This record was imported from Economics of Education Review on March 1, 2019. Economics of Education Review is a publication of Elsevier.

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