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Public information, education and welfare

Author

Listed:
  • Gianluca Femminis

    (Università Cattolica del S. Cuore)

  • Giulio Piccirilli

    (Universitas Mercatorum)

Abstract

We study investments in education made by a continuum of individuals under imperfect information on returns. In the model, the wage accruing to single units of human capital is bargained in the labour market. In addition, this wage depends positively on a stochastic fundamental and, negatively, on the aggregate supply of human capital. At the time of investment, any agent observes a public and a private signal of the fundamental. We show that an increase in the precision of the public signal has an ambiguous impact on the expected social welfare. On the one hand, social welfare improves as schooling decisions become closer to those decisions that would be made under perfect information. On the other hand, social welfare deteriorates as externalities and coordination failures become more severe. The key result of our analysis is that an increase in the quality of public information turns out to be welfare improving, unless the distortions on the labour market are particularly strong.

Suggested Citation

  • Gianluca Femminis & Giulio Piccirilli, 2020. "Public information, education and welfare," Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, Springer;Fondazione Edison, vol. 37(1), pages 137-166, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:epolit:v:37:y:2020:i:1:d:10.1007_s40888-019-00164-6
    DOI: 10.1007/s40888-019-00164-6
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Carmen Aina & Massimiliano Bratti & Enrico Lippo, 2021. "Ranking high schools using university student performance in Italy," Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, Springer;Fondazione Edison, vol. 38(1), pages 293-321, April.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Returns to education; Occupational choice; Information processing; Bargaining;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • I26 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Returns to Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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