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Issues in decentralizing the provision of education

  • Robin Boadway
  • Nicolas Marceau
  • Maurice Marchand

This paper analyzes some of the problems that arise in decentralizing education to the private sector. We concentrate on the difficulties that result from heterogeneity among students and competition among schools in a locational setting. We analyze two main issues, the resources expended by schools and the mix of students in schools, and report on results for two others, the location of schools and their number. For each of these, we investigate the extent to which decentralizing the provision of schooling results in an efficient allocation of resources, and consider the use of vouchers to improve the situation. Our analysis draws on elements of three distinct methodologies: the theory of clubs, location theory, and the theory of monopolistic competition. We find that private schooling will typically be inefficient, but that inefficiency may sometimes be corrected by appropriately designed vouchers.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/BF00418947
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Article provided by Springer in its journal International Tax and Public Finance.

Volume (Year): 3 (1996)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 311-327

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Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:3:y:1996:i:3:p:311-327
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  1. Boadway, R. & Marchand, M., . "The use of public expenditures for redistributive purposes," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1131, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. David Card, 1993. "Using Geographic Variation in College Proximity to Estimate the Return to Schooling," NBER Working Papers 4483, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. BOADWAY, Robin & MARCEAU, Nicolas & MARCHAND, Maurice, 1995. "Issues in Decentralizing the Provision of Education," Cahiers de recherche 9528, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
  4. Dan Usher, 1976. "The Welfare Economics of the Socialization of Commodities," Working Papers 218, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  5. Ireland, Norman J., 1990. "The mix of social and private provision of goods and services," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 201-219, November.
  6. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1991. "Public Provision of Private Goods and the Redistribution of Income," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 979-84, September.
  7. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E, 1998. "Competition between Private and Public Schools, Vouchers, and Peer-Group Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 33-62, March.
  8. Blomquist, Suren & Christiansen, Vidar, 1995. " Public Provision of Private Goods as a Redistributive Device in an Optimum Income Tax Model," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(4), pages 547-67, December.
  9. Robin W. Boadway & Maurice Marchand, 1990. "The Use of Public Expenditure for Distributive Purpose," Working Papers 796, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  10. Brueckner, Jan K. & Lee, Kangoh, 1989. "Club theory with a peer-group effect," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 399-420, August.
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