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Education and public policy

Author

Listed:
  • Jayasri Dutta
  • James Sefton
  • Martin Weale

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Jayasri Dutta & James Sefton & Martin Weale, 1999. "Education and public policy," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 20(4), pages 351-386, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:fistud:v:20:y:1999:i:4:p:351-386
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    File URL: http://www.ifs.org.uk/fs/articles/0012a.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dearden, Lorraine & Machin, Stephen & Reed, Howard, 1997. "Intergenerational Mobility in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(440), pages 47-66, January.
    2. Machin, Stephen, 1996. "Wage Inequality in the UK," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 47-64, Spring.
    3. 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.
    4. Charles T. Clotfelter, 1996. "Buying the Best: Cost Escalation in Elite Higher Education," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number clot96-1, April.
    5. Robert J. Barro & Paul Romer, 1993. "Economic Growth," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number barr93-1, January.
      • Robert J. Barro & Paul M. Romer, 1991. "Economic Growth," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number barr91-1, April.
    6. Loury, Glenn C, 1981. "Intergenerational Transfers and the Distribution of Earnings," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 843-867, June.
    7. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-437.
    8. 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.
    9. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52.
    10. Eeckhout, Jan, 1999. "Educational Mobility: The Effect on Efficiency and Distribution," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 66(263), pages 317-333, August.
    11. 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.
    12. Roland Bénabou, 1996. "Equity and Efficiency in Human Capital Investment: The Local Connection," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(2), pages 237-264.
    13. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
    14. Jonathan Temple, 1999. "The New Growth Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 112-156, March.
    15. Judson, Ruth, 1998. "Economic Growth and Investment in Education: How Allocation Matters," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 3(4), pages 337-359, December.
    16. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. David Greenaway & Michelle Haynes, 2003. "Funding Higher Education in The UK: The Role of Fees and Loans," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages 150-166, February.
    2. Deininger, Klaus, 2003. "Does cost of schooling affect enrollment by the poor? Universal primary education in Uganda," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 291-305, June.
    3. Cormac O'Dea & Ian Preston, 2012. "The distributional impact of public spending in the UK," IFS Working Papers W12/06, Institute for Fiscal Studies.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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