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Ought ain't is: midnight thoughts on education

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Author Info

  • Lant Pritchett

Abstract

Arguably nothing is more important to long-run improvement in human well being than a high quality basic education for every child. Promoting the achievement of this goal requires a serviceable positive model of education policies—a coherent causal explanation of why governments actually do what they do. This paper is part of a series of three papers that creates a theoretical framework for educational policy in developing countries. Here I show that “normative as positive” (NAP)-- explaining that the policies actually chosen were chosen because they maximize an individualized social welfare function--fails as a useful general positive model of schooling. While NAP can perhaps accommodate the fact of some direct production of schooling by some governments, the reality is that (nearly) all governments produce education and that, by and large, this is their only support to education. Moreover, NAP fails not just in the large but also the small: there are six additional common facts about educational policies inconsistent with NAP.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its journal Brussels economic review.

Volume (Year): 47 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3-4 ()
Pages: 321-340

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Handle: RePEc:bxr:bxrceb:y:2004:v:47:i:3-4:p:321-340

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Keywords: education; policy; development.;

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