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Intergenerational Conflict, Partisan Politics, and Public Higher Education Spending: Evidence from the German States

Author

Listed:
  • Oberndorfer, Ulrich

    () (ZEW Mannheim)

  • Steiner, Viktor

    () (Free University of Berlin)

Abstract

We analyze potential effects of demographic change and political constellations on higher education spending. In our panel analysis of west German states (Laender) for the period 1985 to 2002 we find empirical evidence for the hypothesis of a negative relationship between demographic aging and spending on public higher education. In contrast to the hypothesis of the classical partisan theory that implies higher public expenditures under leftist parties, we find that governments under conservative parties or a coalition between social democrats and conservatives spend more on public higher education than governments run by the social-democratic party alone.

Suggested Citation

  • Oberndorfer, Ulrich & Steiner, Viktor, 2006. "Intergenerational Conflict, Partisan Politics, and Public Higher Education Spending: Evidence from the German States," IZA Discussion Papers 2417, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2417
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gradstein, Mark & Kaganovich, Michael, 2004. "Aging population and education finance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2469-2485, December.
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    7. Raquel Fernandez & Richard Rogerson, 1997. "The Determinants of Public Education Expenditures: Evidence from the States, 1950-1990," NBER Working Papers 5995, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Ladd, Helen F. & Murray, Sheila E., 2001. "Intergenerational conflict reconsidered: county demographic structure and the demand for public education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 343-357, August.
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    10. Seitz, Helmut & Freigang, Dirk & Kempkes, Gerhard, 2005. "Demographic Change and Federal Systems: Some Preliminary Results for Germany," Dresden Discussion Paper Series in Economics 07/05, Technische Universität Dresden, Faculty of Business and Economics, Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dae Il Kim, 2010. "Comment on "The Effects of Demographic Change on Public Education in Japan"," NBER Chapters,in: The Economic Consequences of Demographic Change in East Asia, NBER-EASE Volume 19, pages 219-222 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Cattaneo, M. Alejandra & Wolter, Stefan C., 2009. "Are the elderly a threat to educational expenditures?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 225-236, June.
    3. Fumio Ohtake & Shinpei Sano, 2010. "The Effects of Demographic Change on Public Education in Japan," NBER Chapters,in: The Economic Consequences of Demographic Change in East Asia, NBER-EASE Volume 19, pages 193-219 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Ueli Grob & Stefan C. Wolter, 2007. "Demographic Change and Public Education Spending: A Conflict between Young and Old?," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(3), pages 277-292.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    demographic change; public higher education spending; partisan politics;

    JEL classification:

    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid

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