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The evolution of public spending on higher education in a democracy

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  • Haupt, Alexander

Abstract

This paper analyses a political force that can cause an initial expansion of public spending on higher education and an ensuing decline in subsidies per student: the increase in the number, and thus voting power, of skilled parents. The rise of the skilled class leads to a majority for an initial expansion of public education spending. This expansion further boosts the number of skilled parents and, thus, future demand for higher education. The induced shift in demand implies that the initial subsidy per student becomes too expensive to be politically sustainable. The initial educational ‘take-off’ provokes a backlash at the polls. A majority now successfully calls for higher private contributions to the costs of university education. Nevertheless, overall enrolment continues to rise. But equality of opportunity, that went up in the expansion period, declines afterwards.

Suggested Citation

  • Haupt, Alexander, 2012. "The evolution of public spending on higher education in a democracy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 557-573.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:28:y:2012:i:4:p:557-573
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2012.05.003
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    2. Philippe De Donder & Francisco Martinez-Mora, 2015. "On the Political Economy of University Admission Standards," CESifo Working Paper Series 5382, CESifo.
    3. Brezis, Elise S. & Hellier, Joël, 2018. "Social mobility at the top and the higher education system," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 36-54.
    4. repec:dau:papers:123456789/179 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. De Donder, Philippe & Martinez-Mora, Francisco, 2017. "The political economy of higher education admission standards and participation gap," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 154(C), pages 1-9.
    6. De Donder, Philippe & Martinez-Mora, Francisco, 2015. "On the Political Economy of University Admission Standards," TSE Working Papers 15-582, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    7. Aldieri, Luigi & Kotsemir, Maxim & Vinci, Concetto Paolo, 2018. "The impact of research collaboration on academic performance: An empirical analysis for some European countries," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 13-30.
    8. Ben J. Heijdra & Jenny Ligthart, 2006. "The Transitional Dynamics of Fiscal Policy in Small Open Economies," CESifo Working Paper Series 1777, CESifo.
    9. Heijdra, Ben J. & Ligthart, Jenny E., 2010. "The Transitional Dynamics Of Fiscal Policy In Small Open Economies," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(1), pages 1-28, February.
    10. Economides, George & Philippopoulos, Apostolis & Sakkas, Stelios, 2017. "Tuition fees: User prices and private incentives," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 91-103.
    11. Muhammad Baqir Abdullah & Mukaramah Harun & Mohd Razani Mohd Jali, 2017. "Employment Generated by Government Spending on Education," International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, vol. 7(2), pages 738-742, February.
    12. von Greiff, Camilo, 2007. "Enrollment in higher education, ability and growth," Research Papers in Economics 2007:10, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
    13. Alexander Haupt & Silke Uebelmesser, 2009. "Voting on Labour-Market Integration and Education Policy when Citizens Differ in Mobility and Ability," CESifo Working Paper Series 2588, CESifo.
    14. Maria Ines Barbosa Camargo, 2015. "Efectos de los mecanismos de financiación en el acceso a la educación superior en Colombia," Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 10, in: Marta Rahona López & Jennifer Graves (ed.), Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 10, edition 1, volume 10, chapter 5, pages 115-134, Asociación de Economía de la Educación.
    15. Anderberg, Dan, 2013. "Post-compulsory education: Participation and politics," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 134-150.
    16. Elisa S. Brezis & Joel Hellier, 2016. "Social Mobility and Higher-Education Policy," Working Papers 095, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Higher education; Voting; Social stratification; Social mobility; Overlapping generations;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education

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