My scholarship is motivated by questions such as: why do some governments spend more on higher education than others? What is the role of higher education institutions in the economic and political development paths of countries? How do various political institutions affect higher education policy design and implementation? What are the political and distributional implications of the transfer of responsibilities for the provision, financing and regulation of higher education from public to private or non-governmental actors? My recent work seeks to explain why public support for higher education has decreased while the public demand and value of a college education has increased and why states’ priorities for higher education are frequently misaligned with states’ economic needs.

Comparative Political Economy of Higher Education

Dar, L. (2012) The comparative political economy of vocational education: Lessons for the study of community colleges in the United States. In Levin, J. & Kater, S. (Eds.) Understanding Community Colleges. Routledge/Taylor-Francis Group.  [PDF]

Curs, B. & Dar, L. Does state financial aid affect institutional aid? An analysis of the role of state policy on postsecondary institutions pricing strategies.  [PDF]

Curs, B. & Dar, L. Do institutions respond asymmetrically to changes in state expenditures on need- and merit-based aid?  [PDF]

Dar, L. Democracy, partisanship and higher education.

Dar, L., Franke, R. & Lee, D.W.  Revisiting the political economy of government support for higher education: Evidence from a new unifying measure for the American states.  

Higher Education and Social Inequality

Dar, L. (2014) Toward a better understanding of equity in higher education finance and policy. Higher Education: Handbook for Theory and Research. Vol. 29 [PDF]

Dar, L. & Yoshikawa, S. (November, 2013) Do public universities use resources to widen opportunity? Key Findings. Scholars Strategy Network. [PDF] 

Dar, L. & Yoshikawa, S. Higher education institutions matter: Federalism, representation and redistribution.

Politics of Higher Education

Dar, L. (2012) The political dynamics of higher education policy. Journal of Higher Education, 83 (6), 769-794 [PDF]

Dar, L. & Lee, D.W. (2014) Partisanship, political polarization and state higher education budget outcomes. Journal of Higher Education, 85 (4), 469-498.  [PDF]

Dar, L. Politics, inequality and state priorities for higher education.  [PDF]


Hurtado, S., Saenz, V. & Dar, L. (2008). Low-income Students of color in higher education and the Gates Millennium Scholars Program. In St. John, E., editor, Readings on Equal Education, Vol XXIII. AMS Press, New York.  [PDF]