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Demographic Change and Public Education Spending: A Conflict between Young and Old?

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  • Ueli Grob
  • Stefan C. Wolter

Abstract

Demographic change in industrial countries will influence educational spending in potentially two ways. On the one hand, the decline in the number of school-age children should alleviate the financial pressure. On the other hand, the theoretical/empirical literature has established that the concomitantly increasing proportion of elderly in the population can influence the propensity of politicians to spend on education. Using a panel of the Swiss Cantons for the period from 1990 to 2002, we find that the education system has exhibited little elasticity in adjusting to changes in the school-age population, and that the share of the elderly population has a significantly negative influence on the willingness to spend on public education.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Education Economics.

Volume (Year): 15 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 277-292

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Handle: RePEc:taf:edecon:v:15:y:2007:i:3:p:277-292

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Related research

Keywords: Public finance; education finance; demographics; panel estimates; Switzerland;

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References

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  1. Ladd, Helen F. & Murray, Sheila E., 2001. "Intergenerational conflict reconsidered: county demographic structure and the demand for public education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 343-357, August.
  2. Alesina, Alberto & Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William, 1999. "Public goods and ethnic divisions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2108, The World Bank.
  3. Konrad, Kai A, 1995. "Social Security and Strategic Inter-vivos Transfers of Social Capital," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 315-26, August.
  4. Kemnitz, Alexander, 1999. " Demographic Structure and the Political Economy of Education Subsidies," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 101(3-4), pages 235-49, December.
  5. Gradstein, Mark & Kaganovich, Michael, 2003. "Aging Population and Education Finance," CEPR Discussion Papers 3950, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. James M. Poterba, 1996. "Demographic Structure and the Political Economy of Public Education," NBER Working Papers 5677, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Alexander Kemnitz, 2000. "Social security, public education, and growth in a representative democracy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 443-462.
  8. Hanushek, Eric A, 1986. "The Economics of Schooling: Production and Efficiency in Public Schools," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 1141-77, September.
  9. Ed Baldson & Eric Brunner, 2003. "Intergenerational Conflict and the Political Economy of School Spending," Working papers 2003-24, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ma. Guillamón & Francisco Bastida & Bernardino Benito, 2013. "The electoral budget cycle on municipal police expenditure," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 447-469, December.
  2. Ulrich Oberndorfer & Viktor Steiner, 2007. "Generationen- oder Parteienkonflikt? Eine empirische Analyse der deutschen Hochschulausgaben," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 8(2), pages 165-183, 03.
  3. Francisco Martínez Mora, 2009. "Population Ageing, Inequality and the Political Economy of Public Education," Working Papers 2009-03, FEDEA.
  4. Niklas Potrafke, 2006. "Parties Matter in Allocating Expenditures: Evidence from Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 652, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  5. Uschi Backes-Gellner & Johannes Mure, 2008. "The Swiss Leading House on Economics of Education, Firm Behaviour and Training Policies," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0014, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
  6. Helmut Seitz & Dirk Freigang & Sören Högel & Gerhard Kempkes, 2007. "Die Auswirkungen der demographischen Veränderungen auf die Budgetstrukturen der öffentlichen Haushalte," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 8(2), pages 147-164, 03.
  7. Alejandra Cattaneo & Stefan C. Wolter, 2007. "Are The Elderly A Threat To Educational Expenditures?," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0003, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
  8. Lars-Erik Borge & Jørn Rattsø, 2008. "Young and Old Competing for Public Welfare Services," CESifo Working Paper Series 2223, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Busemeyer, Marius R. & Cattaneo, Maria Alejandra & Wolter, Stefan C., 2010. "Individual policy preferences for vocational versus academic education micro level evidence for the case of Switzerland," MPIfG Discussion Paper 10/11, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
  10. Tosun, Mehmet Serkan, 2008. "Endogenous fiscal policy and capital market transmissions in the presence of demographic shocks," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 2031-2060, June.
  11. Vasilaky, Kathryn, 2011. "The effects of school quality on fertility in a transition economy," MPRA Paper 38965, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Dearmon, Jacob & Grier, Robin, 2011. "Trust and the accumulation of physical and human capital," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 507-519, September.
  13. Sørensen, Rune J., 2013. "Does aging affect preferences for welfare spending? A study of peoples' spending preferences in 22 countries, 1985–2006," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 259-271.
  14. Joern Rattsoe & Rune J. Soerensen, 2009. "Grey power and public budgets: Family altruism helps children, but not elderly," Working Paper Series 10009, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
  15. Rattsø, Jørn & Sørensen, Rune J., 2010. "Grey power and public budgets: Family altruism helps children, but not the elderly," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 222-234, June.
  16. Montén, Anna & Thum, Marcel, 2010. "Ageing municipalities, gerontocracy and fiscal competition," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 235-247, June.
  17. Busemeyer, Marius R. & Goerres, Achim & Weschle, Simon, 2008. "Demands for redistributive policies in an era of demographic aging: The rival pressures from age and class in 15 OECD countries," MPIfG Discussion Paper 08/3, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.

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