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Public university in Argentina: subsidizing the rich?


  • Gonzalez Rozada, Martin
  • Menendez, Alicia


We analyze some characteristics of the higher education system in Argentina regarding equity and efficiency. Individuals attending the university belong to the top deciles of the income distribution and to relatively highly educated families. Almost 90 percent of the students in tuition-free public universities have higher than median per capita family income and almost 50 percent attended tuition-financed private high schools. We compare these students with those who attend non tuition-free private colleges. Although students in private universities seem to have higher per capita family income, this difference is not large enough to distinguish the two groups after controlling for other variables. These facts imply that there is an implicit transfer to the richest individuals in the society. We argue that equity and efficiency of the system can be improved by charging tuition-fees. Complementary, selective scholarships and loans could be offered to attract the most talented students from poor families.
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Suggested Citation

  • Gonzalez Rozada, Martin & Menendez, Alicia, 2002. "Public university in Argentina: subsidizing the rich?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 341-351, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:21:y:2002:i:4:p:341-351

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Robert J. Barro, 2013. "Inflation and Economic Growth," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 14(1), pages 121-144, May.
    2. Hausman, Jerry, 2015. "Specification tests in econometrics," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 38(2), pages 112-134.
    3. Schultz, T. Paul, 1988. "Education investments and returns," Handbook of Development Economics,in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 13, pages 543-630 Elsevier.
    4. Xavier Sala-I-Martin, 1997. "Transfers, Social Safety Nets, and Economic Growth," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(1), pages 81-102, March.
    5. Raquel Fernandez & Richard Rogerson, 1995. "On the Political Economy of Education Subsidies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(2), pages 249-262.
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrade, Eduardo C., 2007. "Higher Education: (Almost) Free Tuition vs. Quotas vs. Targeted Vouchers," Insper Working Papers wpe_97, Insper Working Paper, Insper Instituto de Ensino e Pesquisa.
    2. Liu, Jin-Tan & Chou, Shin-Yi & Liu, Jin-Long, 2006. "Asymmetries in progression in higher education in Taiwan: Parental education and income effects," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 647-658, December.
    3. David Flacher & Hugo Harari-Kermadec & Léonard Moulin, 2011. "Contributory education scheme: Theoretical basis and application," Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 6,in: Antonio Caparrós Ruiz (ed.), Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 6, edition 1, volume 6, chapter 30, pages 495-502 Asociación de Economía de la Educación.
    4. Gruber, Lloyd & Kosack, Stephen, 2014. "The Tertiary Tilt: Education and Inequality in the Developing World," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 253-272.
    5. Polat, Sezgin, 2016. "Some Economic Consequences of Higher Education Expansion in Turkey," MPRA Paper 72602, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Caner, Asena & Okten, Cagla, 2013. "Higher education in Turkey: Subsidizing the rich or the poor?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 75-92.
    7. Čepar Žiga & Bojnec Štefan, 2010. "Higher Education Demand Factors and the Demand for Tourism Education in Slovenia," Organizacija, De Gruyter Open, vol. 43(6), pages 257-266, November.
    8. Gruber, Lloyd & Kosack, Stephen, 2014. "The tertiary tilt: education and inequality in the developing world," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 54202, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education


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