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Bildungsreform und Werteerziehung: Eine ökonomische Betrachtung

  • Benedikt Langner


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    Recent articles of the public choice literature emphasize the socializing role of education in order to explain the widespread practice of publicly run schools. In schools pupils are not only provided with basic skills, e.g. literacy and numeracy, but are also instilled with norms and values. Since successful economic transactions are assumed to be more likely the more homogeneous the cultural background of agents, a centralized education system with a common curriculum might be the optimal choice of a constituency that cares for the economic wellbeing of its descendants. Hence, the socializing role of education might be used as an argument against the introduction of market mechanisms into the education system, e.g. the use of school vouchers that could lead to social segregation. This article critically analyzes this line of reasoning and tries to reveal its shortcomings. For example: If a common cultural background were really that important to economic development, how could the phenomenon of international trade be explained? This and other arguments developed in this paper question the need to trade off potential gains in educational achievement due to market-driven education reforms with potential losses in social cohesion that such reforms might provoke.

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    Paper provided by Otto-Wolff-Institut für Wirtschaftsordnung, Köln, Deutschland in its series Otto-Wolff-Institut Discussion Paper Series with number 03/2005.

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    Date of creation: Aug 2005
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:kln:owiwdp:dp_03_2005
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    1. Gradstein, Mark & Justman, Moshe, 2001. "Public Education and the Melting Pot," CEPR Discussion Papers 2924, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Increasing Returns and Long-Run Growth," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2232, David K. Levine.
    3. Gary S. Becker, 1962. "Investment in Human Capital: A Theoretical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 9.
    4. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:112:y:1997:i:4:p:1251-88 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Mark Gradstein & Moshe Justman & Volker Meier, 2004. "The Political Economy of Education: Implications for Growth and Inequality," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262072564, June.
    6. Gradstein, Mark & Justman, Moshe, 2000. "Human capital, social capital, and public schooling," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 879-890, May.
    7. West, Edwin G, 1997. "Education Vouchers in Principle and Practice: A Survey," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 12(1), pages 83-103, February.
    8. Lott, John R, Jr, 1990. "An Explanation for Public Provision of Schooling: The Importance of Indoctrination," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 199-231, April.
    9. Mark Gradstein & Moshe Justman, 2002. "Education, Social Cohesion, and Economic Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1192-1204, September.
    10. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:87:y:1973:i:3:p:355-74 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1975. "The Theory of "Screening," Education, and the Distribution of Income," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 283-300, June.
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