Bradley R Curs

University of Missouri
Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis

202 Hill Hall
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO
65211 |  Visit Personal Website

Search Google Scholar
Search for Google Scholar Profile

Bradley R. Curs is Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis (ELPA) and the Truman School of Public Affairs at the University of Missouri. His research applies economic theory to study effects the effects of incentives (financial aid, appropriations) on economic actors (students, institutions). Empirically, his research utilizes quantitative techniques (econometrics, quasi-experimental designs) and large databases to assess the impact of educational policies.

Curs, B. R. & Harper, C. E. 2012. "Financial Aid and First-Year Collegiate GPA: A Regression Discontinuity Approach." The Review of Higher Education 35:627-649.
Abstract: Using a regression discontinuity design, we investigate whether a merit-based financial aid program has a causal effect on the first-year grade point average of first-time out-of-state freshmen at the University of Oregon. Our results indicate that merit-based financial aid has a positive and significant effect on first-year collegiate grade point average. Further, we find that this positive relationship between financial aid and grade point average exists for both low-income students and students of color.
DOI: 10.1353/rhe.2012.0040
Curs, B. R., Bhandari, B., & Steiger, C. 2011. "The Roles of Public Higher Education Expenditure and the Privatization of Higher Education on U.S. State Economic Growth." Journal of Education Finance 36:424-441.
Abstract: Previous empirical literature finds that government expenditure on higher education has a negative, or null, effect on U.S. economic growth rates. This empirical result may be driven by omission of an important variable—the privatization of higher education. Using state-level panel data from 1970 to 2005, this analysis investigates whether the exclusion of the privatization level of the higher education system within a state potentially biases the estimated relationship between state higher education spending and economic growth. The results indicate that the omission of the size of the private higher education system may negatively bias the estimated relationship between higher education spending and economic growth. Specifically, states with a large market share of students in private higher education institutions have a negative relationship between higher education spending and economic growth, while states with large public shares are found to have a positive relationship.
DOI: 10.1353/jef.2011.0011
Curs, B. R., & Singell, L. D., Jr. 2010. "Aim High or Go Low? Pricing Strategies and Enrollment Effects when the Net Price Elasticity Varies with Need and Ability." Journal of Higher Education 81:515-543.
Curs, B. R., Singell, L. D., Jr., & Waddell, G. R. 2007. "Money for Nothing? The Institutional Impact of Changes in Federal Aid Policy." Education Finance and Policy 2:228-261.
Abstract: Using new institutional-level data, we assess the impact of changing federal aid levels on institutional-level Pell revenues. Using various policy instruments associated with Pell generosity, we quantify the sensitivity of institutional Pell revenues to the generosity of the Pell Grant program. In general, we find an elastic response of institutional Pell revenues with respect to the maximum Pell award, where other policy instruments associated with Pell generosity are found to have an inelastic or zero impact. We also document significant asymmetries across institutional selectivity, both in magnitude and in terms of which channel accounts for the measured sensitivity—award values directly or institutional enrollment. In the end, exogenous changes in the federal Pell Grant program are found to correlate strongly with changes in the distribution of needy students and revenues across institutional quality.
DOI: 10.1162/edfp.2007.2.3.228
Singell, L. D., Jr., Waddell, G. R., & Curs, B. R. 2006. "Hope for the Pell? The Impact of Merit-Aid on Needy Students." Southern Economic Journal 73:79-99.
Abstract: Prior empirical evidence finds that general enrollment effects of merit-aid programs such as the Georgia Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally (HOPE) scholarship are large and significant, while the effects of need-based aid programs such as the Pell grant are modest and often insignificant. This paper uses new panel data on Pell awards to examine the influence of the Georgia HOPE scholarship on needy-student enrollments. We demonstrate that the introduction of merit aid in Georgia generally improves the college access of needy students and has been leveraged into greater federal Pell assistance. While institution-specific increases in both Pell enrollment and funding are largest at two-year and less selective four-year institutions, the results suggest that Pell students are not crowded out of more selective schools by HOPE's intent to retain the best Georgia high school students, as might have been anticipated.
DOI: 10.2307/20111875

Substantive Focus:
Education Policy PRIMARY

Theoretical Focus:
Policy Analysis and Evaluation PRIMARY