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Government Ideology and Tuition Fee Policy: Evidence from the German States

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  • Björn Kauder

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  • Niklas Potrafke

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Abstract

In January 2005 the German Supreme Court permitted the state governments to charge tuition fees. By exploiting the natural experiment, we examine how government ideology influenced the introduction of tuition fees. The results show that rightwing governments were active in introducing tuition fees. By contrast, leftwing governments strictly denied tuition fees. This pattern shows clear political alternatives in education policy across the German states: the political left classifies tuition fees as socially unjust; the political right believes that tuition fees are incentive compatible. By the end of 2014, however, there will be no tuition fees anymore: the political left won four state elections and abolished tuition fees. In Bavaria the rightwing government also decided to abolish tuition fees because it feared to become elected out of office by adhering to tuition fees. Electoral motives thus explain convergence in tuition fee policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Björn Kauder & Niklas Potrafke, 2013. "Government Ideology and Tuition Fee Policy: Evidence from the German States," CESifo Working Paper Series 4205, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4205
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Niklas Potrafke, 2013. "Evidence on the political principal-agent problem from voting on public finance for concert halls," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 215-238, September.
    2. Tina Haussen & Silke Uebelmesser, 2016. "Student and graduate migration and its effect on the financing of higher education," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(6), pages 573-591, November.
    3. Luisa Lorenz & Niklas Potrafke & Julia Tubes, 2014. "Die Vorhaben der neuen Regierungen in Sachsen und Thüringen," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 67(23), pages 13-17, December.
    4. Dominik Hecker & Dano Meiske & Niklas Potrafke & Marina Riem & Christoph Schinke, 2016. "Schuldenbremsen in den deutschen Bundesländern: Worte und Taten der Landesregierungen," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 69(02), pages 14-22, January.
    5. repec:ces:ifosdt:v:70:y:2017:i:20:p:28-37 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Reischmann Markus, 2014. "Staatsverschuldung in Extrahaushalten: Historischer Überblick und Implikationen für die Schuldenbremse in Deutschland," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, De Gruyter, vol. 15(2), pages 171-181, June.
    7. Manuela Krause & Niklas Potrafke, 2017. "The Real Estate Transfer Tax and Government Ideology: Evidence from the German States," CESifo Working Paper Series 6491, CESifo Group Munich.
    8. Toke S. Aidt & Vítor Castro & Rodrigo Martins, 2016. "Shades of red and blue: Political ideology and sustainable development," NIPE Working Papers 8/2016, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
    9. Bruckmeier Kerstin & Fischer Georg-Benedikt & Wigger Berthold U., 2015. "Studiengebühren in Deutschland: Lehren aus einem gescheiterten Experiment," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, De Gruyter, vol. 16(3), pages 289-301, October.
    10. Björn Kauder & Manuela Krause & Niklas Potrafke, 2016. "Electoral Cycles in MPs' Salaries: Evidence from the German States," CESifo Working Paper Series 6028, CESifo Group Munich.
    11. Christian Bjørnskov & Niklas Potrafke, 2013. "The size and scope of government in the US states: does party ideology matter?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 20(4), pages 687-714, August.
    12. Georg-Benedikt Fischer & Berthold U. Wigger, 2016. "Fiscal Competition and Higher Education Spending in Germany," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 17(2), pages 234-252, May.
    13. repec:eee:poleco:v:48:y:2017:i:c:p:91-103 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. repec:mhr:finarc:urn:sici:0015-2218(201706)73:2_213:mffeft_2.0.tx_2-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Niklas Potrafke & Marina Riem & Christoph Schinke, 2016. "Debt Brakes in the German States: Governments’ Rhetoric and Actions," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 17(2), pages 253-275, May.
    16. Björn Kauder & Niklas Potrafke & Christoph Schinke, 2017. "Manipulating Fiscal Forecasts: Evidence from the German States," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 73(2), pages 213-236, June.
    17. George Economides & Apostolis Philippopoulos & Stelios Sakkas, 2016. "Tuition Fees, as User Prices, and Private Incentives," CESifo Working Paper Series 5991, CESifo Group Munich.
    18. Marina Riem, 2016. "Does political uncertainty influence firm owners‘ business perceptions?," ifo Working Paper Series 226, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    19. Björn Kauder & Benjamin Larin & Niklas Potrafke, 2014. "Was bringt uns die große Koalition? Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik," ifo Working Paper Series 172, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    20. Björn Kauder & Niklas Potrafke, 2013. "Regierungsideologie und Studiengebühren in den deutschen Bundesländern," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 66(10), pages 19-24, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    tuition fees; education policy; government ideology; partisan politics;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare

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