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An Economic Rationale for Public Education: The Value of Commitment

  • Mark Gradstein

This paper offers an explanation for the widespread phenomenon of uniform public schooling, which is viewed here as a way for the government to precommit itself to restraints on future income redistribution. Such precommitment is likely to enhance accumulation of human capital, to bolster economic growth, and, under certain circumstances, to constitu te a preferred choice for a majority of voters.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 209.

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Date of creation: 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_209
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  1. Coate, Stephen, 1995. "Altruism, the Samaritan's Dilemma, and Government Transfer Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 46-57, March.
  2. V.V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1989. "Sustainable plans," Staff Report 122, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Shantayanan Devarajan & Danyang Xie & Heng-fu Zou, 1999. "Should Public Capital Be Subsidized or Provided?," CEMA Working Papers 75, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  4. Gans, Joshua S. & Smart, Michael, 1996. "Majority voting with single-crossing preferences," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 219-237, February.
  5. Lott, John R, Jr, 1990. "An Explanation for Public Provision of Schooling: The Importance of Indoctrination," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 199-231, April.
  6. Bruce, Neil & Waldman, Michael, 1991. "Transfers in Kind: Why They Can Be Efficient and Nonpaternalistic," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1345-51, December.
  7. Fischer, Stanley, 1980. "Dynamic inconsistency, cooperation and the benevolent dissembling government," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 93-107, May.
  8. Solon, Gary, 1992. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 393-408, June.
  9. Dani Rodrik, 1996. "Understanding Economic Policy Reform," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 9-41, March.
  10. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  11. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  12. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Representative democracy and capital taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 53-70, September.
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