Are the elderly a threat to educational expenditures?
Empirical research has given cause to fear that the demographic ageing in industrialized countries is likely to exert a negative impact on educational spending. Although this line of research shows in many cases a negative correlation between the proportions of the elderly and educational expenditures, a causal link is difficult to prove. To further analyse this topic, this paper uses a unique and representative survey of Swiss voters of all age groups. Results show that elderly people have a clear tendency to be less willing to spend money on education. They rather prefer to spend public resources on health and social security than on education. Furthermore the paper shows that although the elderly are more conservative and in general less inclined to pay for expenditures in the public sector as a whole, there is still an age effect on the willingness to pay for education after controlling for these factors.
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