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Money or joy: The choice of educational type

  • Alstadsí¦ter, Annette
  • Kolm, Ann-Sofie
  • Larsen, Birthe

This paper examines the effect of taxes on individuals' educational choices, and thus on the economy's skill composition. A proportional labour tax induces too many workers with high innate ability to choose education that is associated with high consumption and relatively low effort. This increases mismatching of skills and aggregate unemployment. The government could correct this distortion by use of subsidies or differentiated tuition fees. Furthermore, we consider the conditions under which each group of educated workers would support use of nonoptimal taxes and tuition fees.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 24 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 107-122

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Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:24:y:2008:i:1:p:107-122
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505544

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  1. E. John Driffill & Harvey S. Rosen, 1981. "Taxation and Excess Burden: A Life-Cycle Perspective," NBER Working Papers 0698, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-27, October.
  3. Annette Alstadsæter, 2003. "Income Tax, Consumption Value of Education, and the Choice of Educational Type," CESifo Working Paper Series 1055, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Arcidiacono, Peter, 2002. "Ability Sorting and the Returns to College Major," Working Papers 02-26, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  5. Thomas N. Daymonti & Paul J. Andrisani, 1984. "Job Preferences, College Major, and the Gender Gap in Earnings," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 19(3), pages 408-428.
  6. Edward P. Lazear, 1975. "Education: Consumption or Production," NBER Working Papers 0104, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. James, Estelle, et al, 1989. "College Quality and Future Earnings: Where Should You Send Your Child to College?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 247-52, May.
  8. Bovenberg, A Lans & Jacobs, Bas, 2001. "Redistribution and Education Subsidies are Siamese Twins," CEPR Discussion Papers 3099, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Sarah E. Turner & William G. Bowen, 1999. "Choice of major: The changing (unchanging) gender gap," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(2), pages 289-313, January.
  10. R. Glenn Hubbard & William M. Gentry, 2000. "Tax Policy and Entrepreneurial Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 283-287, May.
  11. Hessel Oosterbeek & Hans van Ophem, 2000. "Schooling choices: Preferences, discount rates, and rates of return," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 15-34.
  12. Edward T. Gullason, 1989. "The Consumption Value of Schooling: An Empirical Estimate of One Aspect," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(2), pages 287-298.
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  14. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2002. "Identity and Schooling: Some Lessons for the Economics of Education," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1167-1201, December.
  15. Theodore W. Schultz, 1960. "Capital Formation by Education," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 68, pages 571.
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  17. Quinn, Robert & Price, Jamie, 1998. "The demand for medical education: an augmented human capital approach," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 337-347, June.
  18. Pestieau, P. & Possen, U., 1990. "Tax evasion and occupational choice," CORE Discussion Papers 1990033, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  19. Nielsen, Soren Bo & Sorensen, Peter Birch, 1997. "On the optimality of the Nordic system of dual income taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 311-329, February.
  20. Loury, Linda Datcher & Garman, David, 1995. "College Selectivity and Earnings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 289-308, April.
  21. Parker, Simon C, 1996. "A Time Series Model of Self-Employment under Uncertainty," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(251), pages 459-75, August.
  22. Michael J. Boskin, 1975. "Notes on the Tax Treatment of Human Capital," NBER Working Papers 0116, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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