Individual policy preferences for vocational versus academic education: Microlevel evidence for the case of Switzerland
This paper uses an original dataset from a survey conducted in Switzerland in 2007 to explore the dynamics of education policy preferences. This issue has largely been neglected in that most studies on welfare state attitudes do not look at preferences for education. We argue that education policy preferences vary along two dimensions: the distribution of resources across different sectors of the education system (that is, vocational training versus academic education) and the level of investment in education both from public and private sources. With regard to the former, the findings suggest that individual educational experience matters most, that is, individuals prefer to concentrate resources on those educational sectors that are closest to their own educational background. With regard to the latter, we find that affiliation to partisan ideologies matters much more than other variables. Proponents of the left demand more investment both from the state as well as from the private sector and oppose individual tuition fees.
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