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A Normative Justification of Compulsory Education

  • Alessandro Balestrino
  • Lisa Grazzini

    ()

    (Università degli Studi di Firenze)

  • Annalisa Luporini

    ()

    (Università degli Studi di Firenze)

Using a household production model of educational choices, we characterise a free market situation in which some agents ("high-wagers") educate their children full-time and spend a sizable amount of resources on them, while others ("low-wagers") educate them only partially. The free-market equilibrium is inefficient and iniquitous. Public policy is thus called for: however, redistributive taxation alone is counter-productive, as it forces some agents to move away from full-time education for their kids, and educational price subsidies are only moderately effective, since they only work on the intensive margin. It is instead socially optimal to introduce a compulsory education package, using a redistributive tax system to finance it. Redistributive taxation and compulsory education are therefore best seen as complementary policies.

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Paper provided by Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa in its series Working Papers - Economics with number wp2013_18.rdf.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:frz:wpaper:wp2013_18.rdf
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