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Who Should Pay for University Education? Some Net Benefit Results by Funding Source for New Brunswick


  • Vaughan Dickson
  • William J. Milne
  • David Murrell


This paper measures rates of return from spending on New Brunswick universities for four constituencies: the provincial government, the federal and provincial governments together, students, and society taken as a whole. Our main finding is that the rate of return is higher for both levels of government taken together than for the provincial government alone - even before allowance is made for outmigration of university graduates. This suggests a continued role for federal government financing, since otherwise there would be an incentive for small provinces to decrease funding and import graduates from other provinces. Another finding, relevant to user pay arguments about university funding, is that the private return to students exceeds the social return, but this difference narrows considerably when costs of attending university are confined to teaching costs only.

Suggested Citation

  • Vaughan Dickson & William J. Milne & David Murrell, 1996. "Who Should Pay for University Education? Some Net Benefit Results by Funding Source for New Brunswick," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 22(4), pages 315-329, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:22:y:1996:i:4:p:315-329

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