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Aging Population and Education Finance

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  • Gradstein, Mark
  • Kaganovich, Michael

Abstract

Conventional wisdom suggests that aging of population will increase political pressure to tilt the composition of social spending in favour of the elderly, while potentially sacrificing other publicly provided goods such as education. This view seems to be supported by recent empirical findings that per child public education spending tends to be lower in US jurisdictions with higher fraction of elderly residents. Do these cross-sectional findings also carry the dynamic implication that longevity will lead over time to waning political support for funding of public education? This Paper challenges such implication. We present a model that is consistent with the aforementioned cross-sectional regressions yet predicts an overall positive impact of increasing longevity on public education funding and economic growth.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3950.

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Date of creation: Jun 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3950

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Keywords: local public funding of education; overlapping generations; political equilibrium;

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References

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  1. James M. Poterba, 1997. "Demographic structure and the political economy of public education," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(1), pages 48-66.
  2. Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka & Phillip Swagel, 2002. "The Aging Population and the Size of the Welfare State," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(4), pages 900-918, August.
  3. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," NBER Working Papers 6329, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Rubinfeld, Daniel L, 1977. "Voting in a Local School Election: A Micro Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 59(1), pages 30-42, February.
  5. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Lovely, Mary E. & Tosun, Mehmet S., 2004. "Generational conflict, fiscal policy, and economic growth," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 1-23, March.
  6. Browning, Edgar K, 1975. "Why the Social Insurance Budget Is Too Large in a Democracy," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 13(3), pages 373-88, September.
  7. Harrie Verbon & Marijn Verhoeven, 1992. "Decision making on pension schemes under rational expectations," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 56(1), pages 71-97, February.
  8. Poterba, James M, 1998. "Demographic Change, Intergenerational Linkages, and Public Education," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 315-20, May.
  9. Boadway, R.W. & Wildasin, D.E., 1987. "A median voter model of social security," CORE Discussion Papers 1987014, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  10. 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.
  11. Phillip Swagel & Efraim Sadka & Assaf Razin, 2002. "The Aging of the Population and the Size of the Welfare State," IMF Working Papers 02/68, International Monetary Fund.
  12. Soares, Jorge, 2003. "Self-interest and public funding of education," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 703-727, March.
  13. Harris, Amy Rehder & Evans, William N. & Schwab, Robert M., 2001. "Education spending in an aging America," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 449-472, September.
  14. Zhang, Jie & Zhang, Junsen & Lee, Ronald, 2003. "Rising longevity, education, savings, and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 83-101, February.
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