Why is so Little Spent on Educating the Poor?
If the poor are to benefit from economic growth, then they need the skills that are in growing demand, and the capacity to raise their productivity as smallholder farmers and micro-entrepreneurs. Yet, the poor seldom receive a satisfactory education. Too little is spent on primary educationâ€”the category of education of most direct benefit to the poorâ€”while on average public subsidies to secondary education are roughly three times as high as subsidies to primary education, and subsidies to tertiary education are thirty times as high. In consequence, the higher income deciles benefit disproportionately from public spending on educationâ€”the share of the richest income quintile (28%) is roughly double that of poorest income quintile (13%) across countries [DIscussion Paper No. 2001/29].
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