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Education and public policy

  • Jayasri Dutta
  • James Sefton
  • Martin Weale

This article surveys the literature on education as a matter of public policy. We present international comparisons of expenditure on education and then discuss the contribution of education to economic growth, distinguishing between growth accounting and regression approaches, but concluding that the picture is still confused. We assess the risky nature of investment in higher education and also discuss the link between educational experience and social class. We show that this, when studied in aggregate, accounts for less than half of the persistence of earnings between fathers and sons but it nevertheless does a good job of relating father’ and sons’ occupations. Finally, we look at the link between education and earnings in the UK. For most subjects, the private return to university education has held at over 15 per cent p.a. despite the introduction of fees. However, some subjects offer a negative return.

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Article provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its journal Fiscal Studies.

Volume (Year): 20 (1999)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 351-386

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Handle: RePEc:ifs:fistud:v:20:y:1999:i:4:p:351-386
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  1. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 2013. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Working Papers 2013-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  2. Jonathan Temple, 1999. "The New Growth Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 112-156, March.
  3. Persson, T. & Tabellini, G., 1993. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth," Papers 537, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  4. Colm Harmon; & Ian Walker, 1995. "Estimates of Economic Return to Schooling in the UK," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n540195, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
  5. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 630-49, November.
  6. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1990. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Lorraine Dearden & Steve Machin & Howard Reed, 1995. "Intergenerational mobility in Britain," IFS Working Papers W95/20, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  8. Campbell, John Y. & Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1991. "The response of consumption to income : A cross-country investigation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 723-756, May.
  9. Benhabib, Jess & Spiegel, Mark M., 1994. "The role of human capital in economic development evidence from aggregate cross-country data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 143-173, October.
  10. Eeckhout, Jan, 1999. "Educational Mobility: The Effect on Efficiency and Distribution," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 66(263), pages 317-33, August.
  11. Robert J. Barro & Paul M. Romer, 1991. "Economic Growth," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number barr91-1, July.
    • Robert J. Barro & Paul Romer, 1993. "Economic Growth," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number barr93-1, July.
  12. Machin, Stephen, 1996. "Wage Inequality in the UK," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 47-64, Spring.
  13. Benabou, Roland, 1996. "Equity and Efficiency in Human Capital Investment: The Local Connection," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 237-64, April.
  14. Charles T. Clotfelter, 1996. "Buying the Best: Cost Escalation in Elite Higher Education," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number clot96-1, July.
  15. Weale, Martin, 1992. "The Benefits of Higher Education: A Comparison of Universities and Polytechnics," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(2), pages 35-47, Summer.
  16. Judson, Ruth, 1998. " Economic Growth and Investment in Education: How Allocation Matters," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 3(4), pages 337-59, December.
  17. Loury, Glenn C, 1981. "Intergenerational Transfers and the Distribution of Earnings," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 843-67, June.
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