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Government's role in primary and secondary education

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  • Lori L. Taylor

Abstract

Traditionally, economists offer three broad rationales for government participation in education--market failure, externalities, and altruism. In this article, Lori Taylor describes the three rationales, discusses the economic evidence in their support, and examines their major implications for the role of government in primary and secondary education. She concludes that there is a significant public interest in education. However, the government's role is clearly a subordinate one; families should remain the primary educational decision makers--and the primary educational financiers. Finally, her analysis of the economic evidence suggests that while government has an interest in ensuring that schools produce desirable social outcomes, it does not necessarily have a role in providing educational services or in regulating the way in which private schools provide such services.

Suggested Citation

  • Lori L. Taylor, 1999. "Government's role in primary and secondary education," Economic and Financial Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Q I, pages 15-24.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedder:y:1999:i:qi:p:15-24
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    File URL: http://www.dallasfed.org/assets/documents/research/er/1999/er9901b.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Wyckoff, James H., 1984. "The nonexcludable publicness of primary and secondary public education," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 331-351, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dee, Thomas S., 2004. "Are there civic returns to education?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1697-1720, August.
    2. Thomas M. Fullerton, Jr., 2001. "Educational attainment and border income performance," Economic and Financial Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Q III, pages 2-10.

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    Keywords

    Education;

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