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Enhancing the public provision of education: the economics of education reform in developing countries


  • Rossana Patron

    () (University of Uruguay)


The comprehensive evaluation of education reforms in developing countries needs the consideration of the 'triangle'' quality-quantity-equity in the short, medium and long term, in a broader context than just the education system itself. There is no simple ‘recipe'' to enhance education, though some general results are found by means of simulation exercises. First, it is expensive and anti-economical to rely on a reform consisting in just more resources, since returns are decreasing. However, focused policies may improve the returns to the expenditure. Second, the timing of the reform matters: policies that are more productive in the short term may be less convenient than competing alternatives in the longer term. Third, effects of the reform are cumulative, and to evaluate it by its generally modest short-term merits may put it at risk of reversion, and/or hinder future investment in the sector

Suggested Citation

  • Rossana Patron, 2008. "Enhancing the public provision of education: the economics of education reform in developing countries," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 9(26), pages 1-8.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-08i20010

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alan B. Krueger, 2003. "Economic Considerations and Class Size," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages 34-63, February.
    2. Lanzaro, Jorge, 2004. "La reforma educativa en Uruguay (1995-2000): virtudes y problemas de una iniciativa heterodoxa," Políticas Sociales 91, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    3. Eric A. Hanushek, 1979. "Conceptual and Empirical Issues in the Estimation of Educational Production Functions," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 14(3), pages 351-388.
    4. Hanushek, Eric A., 2002. "Publicly provided education," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 30, pages 2045-2141 Elsevier.
    5. Eric A. Hanushek, 2004. "Some Simple Analytics of School Quality," NBER Working Papers 10229, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Hanushek, Eric A, 1986. "The Economics of Schooling: Production and Efficiency in Public Schools," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 1141-1177, September.
    7. Birdsall, Nancy & O'Connell, Lesley & Londoño de la Cuesta, Juan Luis, 1998. "Education in Latin America: demand and distribution are factors that matter," Revista CEPAL, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), December.
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    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development


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