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Young and old competing for public welfare services

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  • Lars-Erik Borge

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology)

  • Jørn Rattsø

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology)

Abstract

Generational conflict affects the supply of public welfare services, and the rising share of elderly is seen as a threat to educational spending. We offer an analysis of spending in child care, primary and lower secondary education, and care for the elderly related to the size of young and old voters. The age groups face possible disadvantages of being part of a large cohort, but also can gain political strength to crowd out services for the other groups. The decentralization of public services in Scandinavia allows for the simultaneous analysis of age related services. Using panel data from Denmark for the period 1989-1996, we find that the elderly are reducing spending in child care and education, but the young do not threaten services for the elderly. It is a disadvantage for both the elderly and the young to be part of a large cohort. The possible Tiebout-bias is handled with instrument variables predicting the relevant age composition variables.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology in its series Working Paper Series with number 8607.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: 24 May 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nst:samfok:8607

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Keywords: Public welfare services; group size; age composition of the population; generational conflict;

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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. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1998. "Intergenerational Redistribution with Short-Lived Governments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(450), pages 1299-1329, September.
  3. David M. Cutler & Douglas W. Elmendorf & Richard J. Zeckhauser, 1993. "Demographic Characteristics and the Public Bundle," NBER Working Papers 4283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Steven G. Craig & Robert P. Inman, 1985. "Education, Welfare, and the "New" Federalism: State Budgeting in a Federalist Public Economy," NBER Working Papers 1562, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Brunner, Eric & Balsdon, Ed, 2004. "Intergenerational conflict and the political economy of school spending," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 369-388, September.
  6. Gradstein, Mark & Kaganovich, Michael, 2004. "Aging population and education finance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2469-2485, December.
  7. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas, 1992. " Elections and Aggregation: Interpreting Econometric Analyses of Local Governments," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 74(1), pages 17-42, July.
  8. Brueckner, Jan K. & Joo, Man-Soo, 1991. "Voting with capitalization," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 453-467, November.
  9. Borge, Lars-Erik & Rattso, Jorn, 1995. "Demographic shift, relative costs and the allocation of local public consumption in Norway," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 705-726, December.
  10. Schwab, Robert M. & Oates, Wallace E., 1991. "Community composition and the provision of local public goods : A normative analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 217-237, March.
  11. Ueli Grob & Stefan C. Wolter, 2005. "Demographic Change and Public Education Spending: A Conflict between Young and Old?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1555, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. Poterba, James M, 1998. "Demographic Change, Intergenerational Linkages, and Public Education," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 315-20, May.
  13. Borge, Lars-Erik & Rattso, Jorn & Sorensen, Rune, 1995. " Local Government Service Production: The Politics of Allocative Sluggishness," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 82(1-2), pages 135-57, January.
  14. Raquel Fernandez & Richard Rogerson, 1997. "The Determinants of Public Education Expenditures: Evidence from the States, 1950-1990," NBER Working Papers 5995, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Michael Berlemann & Marco Oestmann & Marcel Thum, 2014. "Demographic change and bank profitability: empirical evidence from German savings banks," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(1), pages 79-94, January.
  2. 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.
  3. Cattaneo, M. Alejandra & Wolter, Stefan C., 2009. "Are the elderly a threat to educational expenditures?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 225-236, June.
  4. Montén, Anna & Thum, Marcel, 2010. "Ageing municipalities, gerontocracy and fiscal competition," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 235-247, June.
  5. 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.
  6. Kaja Høiseth Brugård, 2013. "Gender Peer Effects on Further Education," Working Paper Series 14613, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
  7. Rainald Borck, 2011. "Adieu Rabenmutter - The Effect of Culture on Fertility, Female Labour Supply, the Gender Wage Gap and Childcare," CESifo Working Paper Series 3337, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. 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.

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