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Education : Lessons from Economic Theory and Operational Experience


  • Nicholas Barr

    (London School of Economics and Political Science)


This paper talks about how to pay for teaching at universities. It does not talk about financing research, nor about any particular country. Instead, its purpose is to offer a toolkit for policy makers thinking about reform. The paper sets out lessons for policy design from economic theory (section 2) and the experience of developed countries (section 3). Economic theory, however, is not enough. Policy design that outstrips a countrys capacity to implement it effectively is bad policy design. This paper therefore deliberately goes beyond theory to include lessons about implementation (section 4). The paper concludes with discussion of the resulting system.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicholas Barr, 2008. "Education : Lessons from Economic Theory and Operational Experience," EABER Working Papers 21942, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:eab:wpaper:21942

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Chapman, Bruce & Ryan, Chris, 2005. "The access implications of income-contingent charges for higher education: lessons from Australia," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 491-512, October.
    2. Barr, Nicholas & Diamond, Peter, 2008. "Reforming Pensions: Principles and Policy Choices," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195311303, June.
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    More about this item


    education; Economic Theory; Operational Experience;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions


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