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Cost Efficiency and Feasibility of Education Policy in the Presence of Local Social Externalities

  • Vandenberghe, Vincent

    (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES); UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Groupe Interfacultaire de Recherche sur les Systèmes Educatifs et de Formation (GIRSEF))

This paper is a theoretical exercise aimed at developing an economic analysis of an education system in which the educational output - apart from each individual's propensity to invest in himself or the level of per-pupil spending - is heavily conditioned by the way non-monetary inputs (peer effects operating as local social spillovers) are allocated between schools. Our model actually stresses the influence peer effects can exert on the monetary cost of a policy aimed at equalizing achievement. Unequal allocation of these non-purchasable inputs will cause unequal monetary input requirements and under some realistic assumptions we show here that the best way to ensure cost efficiency is to achieve an equalitarian allocation of peer effects (perfect desegregation according to ability level). But the implementation of such a policy raises many difficulties. To get particular families to voluntarily send their offspring to desegregated schools might require some form of bribery.

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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) in its series Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) with number 1999021.

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Length: 19
Date of creation: 01 Jun 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:1999021
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  1. Link, Charles R. & Mulligan, James G., 1991. "Classmates' effects on black student achievement in public school classrooms," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 297-310, December.
  2. Evans, William N & Oates, Wallace E & Schwab, Robert M, 1992. "Measuring Peer Group Effects: A Study of Teenage Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 966-91, October.
  3. Willms, J. Douglas & Echols, Frank & Willms, J. Douglas, 1992. "Alert and inert clients: The Scottish experience of parental choice of schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 339-350, December.
  4. Hanushek, Eric A, 1986. "The Economics of Schooling: Production and Efficiency in Public Schools," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 1141-77, September.
  5. Summers, Anita A & Wolfe, Barbara L, 1977. "Do Schools Make a Difference?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(4), pages 639-52, September.
  6. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E, 1998. "Competition between Private and Public Schools, Vouchers, and Peer-Group Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 33-62, March.
  7. Dynarski, Mark & Schwab, Robert & Zampelli, Ernest, 1989. "Local characteristics and public production: The case of education," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 250-263, September.
  8. Richard Arnott & John Rowse, 1982. "Peer Group Effects and Educational Attainment," Working Papers 497, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  9. Mulligan, James G, 1984. "A Classroom Production Function," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 22(2), pages 218-26, April.
  10. Roland Bénabou, 1996. "Equity and Efficiency in Human Capital Investment: The Local Connection," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(2), pages 237-264.
  11. Corcoran, Mary, et al, 1990. "Effects of Family and Community Background on Economic Status," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 362-66, May.
  12. Matsaganis, Manos & Glennerster, Howard, 1994. "The threat of 'cream skimming' in the post-reform NHS," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 31-60, March.
  13. Schwab, Robert M. & Oates, Wallace E., 1991. "Community composition and the provision of local public goods : A normative analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 217-237, March.
  14. Henderson, Vernon & Mieszkowski, Peter & Sauvageau, Yvon, 1978. "Peer group effects and educational production functions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 97-106, August.
  15. George J. Borjas, 1992. "Ethnic Capital and Intergenerational Mobility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 123-150.
  16. Brueckner, Jan K. & Lee, Kangoh, 1989. "Club theory with a peer-group effect," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 399-420, August.
  17. de Bartolome, Charles A M, 1990. "Equilibrium and Inefficiency in a Community Model with Peer Group Effects," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(1), pages 110-33, February.
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