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Convergence and divergence in welfare state development: an assessment of education policy in OECD countries


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  • Jakobi, Anja P.
  • Teltemann, Janna


In this paper, we quantitatively assess education policy change in OECD countries. While research in social policy has shown that convergence in welfare provision can only partially be assessed in OECD countries, it has yet to be assessed to what extent this also concerns the sector of education. By distinguishing educational expenditures, educational governance and educational outputs, we analyze this sector for OECD countries since the 1990s. The paper is structured as follows: We first outline the importance of education and schooling in contemporary social policy. In a second step, we present concepts of convergence and divergence in welfare state development, concluding with assumptions on the state of education policy. In a third step, we present the data and methods used. Afterwards, we track changes in educational expenditures, educational governance and educational outputs. In a concluding section, we compare the findings and outline their significance for research on policy convergence and social policies, as well as for internationalization of education policy. The paper has a mainly empirical aim, contributing to the debate on policy change and convergence in social policy. -- In diesem Papier untersuchen wir den Wandel von Bildungspolitik in OECD Ländern, im besonderen Tendenzen zur Konvergenz. Vergleichbare Analysen in anderen Teilgebieten der Sozialpolitik sind zu dem Ergebnis gekommen, dass nur bedingt Konvergenzeffekte festzustellen sind, für den Bereich Bildungspolitik standen entsprechende Untersuchungen bisher jedoch nicht zur Verfügung. Um auch in diesem Politikfeld den Wandel näher zu bestimmen, unterscheiden wir Ausgaben, Governance und Ergebnisse und analysieren entsprechende Indikatoren mit quantitativen Methoden. Das Papier ist wie folgt strukturiert: Zunächst führen wir in die Rolle von Bildung im Zusammenhang mit Sozialpolitik ein, bevor wir dann näher auf die Frage von Konvergenz und Divergenz eingehen. In einem dritten Schritt stellen wir Methoden und Daten vor, bevor wir den Wandel in den Bereichen Sekundarstufe und Hochschulausbildung seit den 1990ern untersuchen. Es zeigt sich insgesamt leichte Konvergenz in Teilen der Bildungsfinanzierung und der Bildungsgovernance, sowie in den Bildungsergebnissen. Nur einige dieser Effekte sind allerdings statistisch eindeutig signifikant, so dass hier insgesamt bisher eher Tendenzen als eindeutiger Wandel in eine gemeinsame Richtung festzustellen ist.

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Paper provided by University of Bremen, Collaborative Research Center 597: Transformations of the State in its series TranState Working Papers with number 93.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:sfb597:93

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  1. Cooray, Arusha & Paradiso, Antonio & Truglia, Francesco Giovanni, 2013. "Do countries belonging to the same region suggest the same growth enhancing variables? Evidence from selected South Asian countries," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 772-779.


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