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Risk, Resources, and Education: Public Versus Private Financing of Higher Education


  • Berthold U. Wigger

    (International Monetary Fund)

  • Robert K. von Weizs?cker

    (International Monetary Fund)


The paper develops a public education scheme that takes aspects of uncertainty in private educational investments explicitly into account. The social merits of public education schemes are related to the lack of markets in which students can insure against educational risks. A case is made for tuition fees that depend on expected returns of investments in education. The consideration of uncertainty provides a neglected link between educational choice, resource endowment, and productivity growth, which may serve to redefine the public role of education financing. Copyright 2002, International Monetary Fund

Suggested Citation

  • Berthold U. Wigger & Robert K. von Weizs?cker, 2001. "Risk, Resources, and Education: Public Versus Private Financing of Higher Education," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 48(3), pages 1-6.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:imfstp:v:48:y:2002:i:3:p:6

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-1037, October.
    2. Ulph, David, 1977. "On the optimal distribution of income and educational expenditure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 341-356, December.
    3. Chapman, Bruce, 1997. "Conceptual Issues and the Australian Experience with Income Contingent Charges for Higher Education," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(442), pages 738-751, May.
    4. Trostel, Philip A, 1993. "The Effect of Taxation on Human Capital," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 327-350, April.
    5. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52.
    6. Barham, Vicky & Boadway, Robin & Marchand, Maurice & Pestieau, Pierre, 1995. "Education and the poverty trap," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 1257-1275, August.
    7. von Weizsäcker, Robert K & Wigger, Berthold, 1998. "Risk, Resources and Education," CEPR Discussion Papers 1808, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Roland Bénabou, 1996. "Inequality and Growth," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1996, Volume 11, pages 11-92 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Peltzman, Sam, 1973. "The Effect of Government Subsidies-in-Kind on Private Expenditures: The Case of Higher Education," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(1), pages 1-27, Jan.-Feb..
    10. Johnson, George E, 1984. "Subsidies for Higher Education," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(3), pages 303-318, July.
    11. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1982. "Self-selection and Pareto efficient taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 213-240, March.
    12. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
    13. Wigger, Berthold U, 2001. "Pareto-Improving Intergenerational Transfers," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(2), pages 260-280, April.
    14. Roberto Perotti, 1993. "Political Equilibrium, Income Distribution, and Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(4), pages 755-776.
    15. Miller, Paul & Volker, Paul, 1993. "Youth Wages, Risk, and Tertiary Finance Arrangements," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 69(204), pages 20-33, March.
    16. Varian, Hal R., 1980. "Redistributive taxation as social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 49-68, August.
    17. Hare, P G & Ulph, D T, 1979. "On Education and Distribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 193-212, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ing. Daša Vališová, 2009. "Theoretical Aspects Of Financing Higher Education," Revista Tinerilor Economisti (The Young Economists Journal), University of Craiova, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, vol. 1(12), pages 111-116, April.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty


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