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Dépenses publiques d'éducation et inégalités. Une perspective de cycle de vie


  • Guillaume Allègre
  • Thomas Melonio
  • Xavier Timbeau


In this article, we measure the redistributive impact of education expenses when financed publicly. We consider a life-cycle perspective and estimate, for each individual, the education expenses received and the taxes paid during his or her foreseen career. We conclude that the public financing of non-compulsory education slightly increases inequality, while the public financing of compulsory education strongly diminishes inequalities among individuals of a same generation. However, these transfers seem to matter far less than the differences in future income due to an unequal access to higher education based on social origin. Classification JEL : D31, D63, I22, H40

Suggested Citation

  • Guillaume Allègre & Thomas Melonio & Xavier Timbeau, 2012. "Dépenses publiques d'éducation et inégalités. Une perspective de cycle de vie," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 63(6), pages 1055-1079.
  • Handle: RePEc:cai:recosp:reco_636_1055

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Heckman, James J & Lochner, Lance & Taber, Christopher, 1998. "Tax Policy and Human-Capital Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 293-297, May.
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    4. Thierry Magnac & Sébastien Roux, 2009. "Dynamique des salaires dans une cohorte," Economie & Prévision, La Documentation Française, vol. 0(1), pages 1-24.
    5. Stefan Lollivier & Jean-François Payen, 1990. "L'hétérogénéité des carrières individuelles mesurée sur données de panel," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 92(1), pages 87-95.
    6. Alan J. Auerbach & Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1994. "Generational Accounting: A Meaningful Way to Evaluate Fiscal Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 73-94, Winter.
    7. Thomas Melonio & Xavier Timbeau, 2006. "L'immatérielle richesse des nations," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 97(2), pages 329-363.
    8. Xavier Chojnicki & Frederic Docquier, 2007. "Fiscal Policy and Educational Attainment in the United States: A Generational Accounting Perspective," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(294), pages 329-350, May.
    9. Callan, Tim & Keane, Claire, 2009. "Non-cash Benefits and the Distribution of Economic Welfare," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 40(1), pages 49-71.
    10. John W. Kendrick, 1976. "The Formation and Stocks of Total Capital," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kend76-1, January.
    11. Shea, John, 2000. "Does parents' money matter?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 155-184, August.
    12. Abowd, John M & Card, David, 1989. "On the Covariance Structure of Earnings and Hours Changes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 411-445, March.
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    14. Robert Eisner, 1984. "Transfers in a Total Incomes System of Accounts," NBER Chapters,in: Economic Transfers in the United States, pages 9-36 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. François Marical & Marco Mira d'Ercole & Maria Vaalavuo & Gerlinde Verbist, 2006. "Publicly-provided Services and the Distribution of Resources," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 45, OECD Publishing.
    16. Alain Trannoy, 2006. "Financement des universités, financement des études," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 116(6), pages 745-782.
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    Cited by:

    1. Xavier Timbeau, 2014. "From austerity to stagnation how to avoid the deflation trap: The independant annual growth survey 2014," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/c5gs2rgi93a, Sciences Po.
    2. Xavier Timbeau, 2011. "Solidarité intergénérationnelle et dette publique," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(1), pages 191-212.
    3. Balázs Égert, 2013. "The Efficiency and Equity of the Tax and Transfer System in France," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1038, OECD Publishing.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General


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