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Political economics of higher education finance

  • Jordi Jofre-Monseny


    (University of Passau)

  • Martin Wimbersky


    (University of Munich)

We study voting over higher education finance in an economy with risk averse households who are heterogeneous in income. We compare four different systems and analyse voters' choices among them: a traditional subsidy scheme, a pure loan scheme, income contingent loans and graduate taxes. Using numerical simulations, we find that majorities for income contingent loans or graduate taxes become more likely as the income distribution gets more equal. We also perform sensitivity analyses with respect to risk aversion and the elasticity of substitution between high skilled and low skilled workers.

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Paper provided by Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB) in its series Working Papers with number 2010/17.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:2010/5/doc2010-17
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  1. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E., 1996. "Ends against the middle: Determining public service provision when there are private alternatives," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 297-325, November.
  2. Raquel Fernandez & Richard Rogerson, 1995. "On the Political Economy of Education Subsidies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(2), pages 249-262.
  3. Maria Racionero & Elena Del Rey, 2006. "Financing schemes for higher education," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2006-460, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
  4. William R. Johnson, 2005. "Are Public Subsidies to Higher Education Regressive ?," Virginia Economics Online Papers 365, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
  5. De Fraja, Gianni, 2001. "Education Policies: Equity, Efficiency and Voting Equilibrium," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(471), pages C104-19, May.
  6. Bruce Chapman, 2005. "Income Contingent Loans for Higher Education: International Reform," CEPR Discussion Papers 491, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  7. Olivier de La Grandville & Rainer Klump, 2000. "Economic Growth and the Elasticity of Substitution: Two Theorems and Some Suggestions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 282-291, March.
  8. Stiglitz, J. E., 1974. "The demand for education in public and private school systems," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 349-385, November.
  9. Rainald Borck, 2007. "Voting, Inequality And Redistribution," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(1), pages 90-109, 02.
  10. David Greenaway & Michelle Haynes, 2003. "Funding Higher Education in The UK: The Role of Fees and Loans," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages F150-F166, February.
  11. Creedy, John & Francois, Patrick, 1990. "Financing higher education and majority voting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 181-200, November.
  12. Johnson, George E, 1984. "Subsidies for Higher Education," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(3), pages 303-18, July.
  13. Garcia-Penalosa, Cecilia & Walde, Klaus, 2000. "Efficiency and Equity Effects of Subsidies to Higher Education," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(4), pages 702-22, October.
  14. Dan Anderberg & Alessandro Balestrino, 2008. "The Political Economy of Post-Compulsory Education Policy with Endogenous Credit Constraints," CESifo Working Paper Series 2304, CESifo Group Munich.
  15. Nicholas Barr, 2004. "Higher Education Funding," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(2), pages 264-283, Summer.
  16. Nerlove, Marc L, 1975. "Some Problems in the Use of Income-contingent Loans for the Finance of Higher Education," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(1), pages 157-83, February.
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