Demographic Change and Public Education Spending: A Conflict between Young and Old?
Demographic change in industrial countries will influence educational spending in potentially two ways. On the one hand, the decline in the number of school-age children should alleviate the financial pressure. On the other hand, the theoretical/empirical literature has established that the concomitantly increasing proportion of elderly in the population can influence the propensity of politicians to spend on education. Using a panel of the Swiss Cantons for the period from 1990 to 2002, we find that the education system has exhibited little elasticity in adjusting to changes in the school-age population, and that the share of the elderly population has a significantly negative influence on the willingness to spend on public education.
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