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Public versus private education when differential fertility matters

  • de la Croix, David
  • Doepke, Matthias

We assess the merits of different education systems in a framework that accounts for the joint decision problem of parents regarding fertility and education. Specifically, we compare the implications of a public and a private schooling regime for economic growth and inequality. We find that private schooling leads to higher growth when there is little inequality in human capital endowments across families. In contrast, when inequality is high, public education yields higher growth by reducingfertility differentials. In addition, public schooling leads to income convergence, while private schooling can result in ever increasing inequality. Our analysis highlights theimp ortanceof accounting for endogenous fertility differentials when analyzing educational policies.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 73 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 607-629

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:73:y:2004:i:2:p:607-629
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec

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  1. de la Croix, David & Monfort, Philippe, 1999. "Education Funding and Regional Convergence," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 1999010, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  2. Fernandez, Raquel & Rogerson, Richard, 1997. "Keeping People Out: Income Distribution, Zoning, and the Quality of Public Education," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(1), pages 23-42, February.
  3. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M & Tamura, Robert, 1990. "Human Capital, Fertility, and Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S12-37, October.
  4. Mark R. Rosenzweig & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1994. "Are There Increasing Returns to the Intergenerational Production of Human Capital? Maternal Schooling and Child Intellectual Achievement," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(2), pages 670-693.
  5. Robert Haveman & Barbara Wolfe, 1995. "The Determinants of Children's Attainments: A Review of Methods and Findings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1829-1878, December.
  6. Fernández, Raquel & Rogerson, Richard, 2000. "Sorting and Long-Run Inequality," CEPR Discussion Papers 2352, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. David de la Croix & Matthias Doepke, 2003. "Inequality and Growth: Why Differential Fertility Matters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1091-1113, September.
  8. Raquel Fernandez & Richard Rogerson, 1996. "Income Distribution, Communities, and the Quality of Public Education," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(1), pages 135-164.
  9. Glomm, Gerhard & Ravikumar, B, 1992. "Public versus Private Investment in Human Capital Endogenous Growth and Income Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 818-34, August.
  10. Arleen Leibowitz, 1974. "Home Investments in Children," NBER Chapters, in: Economics of the Family: Marriage, Children, and Human Capital, pages 432-456 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & James Sefton & Martin Weale, 1999. "Simulating the Transmission of Wealth Inequity via Bequests," NBER Working Papers 7183, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Arleen Leibowitz, 1974. "Home Investments in Children," NBER Chapters, in: Marriage, Family, Human Capital, and Fertility, pages 111-135 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Kremer, Michael & Chen, Daniel L, 2002. "Income Distribution Dynamics with Endogenous Fertility," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 227-58, September.
  14. Leibowitz, Arleen, 1974. "Home Investments in Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages S111-S131, Part II, .
  15. Robert Tamura, 2001. "Teachers, Growth, and Convergence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(5), pages 1021-1059, October.
  16. Gary S. Becker, 1960. "An Economic Analysis of Fertility," NBER Chapters, in: Demographic and Economic Change in Developed Countries, pages 209-240 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Roland Bénabou, 1996. "Equity and Efficiency in Human Capital Investment: The Local Connection," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(2), pages 237-264.
  18. Tamura, Robert, 1991. "Income Convergence in an Endogenous Growth Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 522-40, June.
  19. Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S279-88, Part II, .
  20. Michael Kremer, 1997. "How Much does Sorting Increase Inequality?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 115-139.
  21. Benabou, Roland, 1996. "Heterogeneity, Stratification, and Growth: Macroeconomic Implications of Community Structure and School Finance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 584-609, June.
  22. Daniel Chen & Michael Kremer, 1999. "Income-Distribution Dynamics with Endogenous Fertility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 155-160, May.
  23. Tamura, Robert, 1994. "Fertility, Human Capital and the Wealth of Families," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 4(4), pages 593-603, May.
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