Inequality, redistribution and the allocation of public spending in education. A political-economy approach
The incidence of public expenditure in education appears to be skewed in favour of the middle and upper classes. This paper inquires into the determinants of this bias using a political economy approach. We develop a model with two time periods with an election occurring between the two. In the first period, agents differ in their initial wealth. In the second period, differences in wealth are combined with differences in income. In the first period, the incumbent government issues debt to finance public spending in education and decides how to allocate available resources between primary and tertiary education. Both increase aggregate income, but while investment in primary education reduces income inequality, investment in tertiary education increases it. At the beginning of the second period, a two-party electoral competition is held and probabilistic voting decides the winner. By varying the parameters of the linear income tax, the elected policy-maker can redistribute resources between low and high income individuals, while by choosing a debt default rate she can renege on the promise to fully repay public obligations, redistributing resources from bond-holders to tax-payers. We show that the investment in primary education might not be (politically) viable. Intuitively, investment in primary education, by reducing income inequality with respect to wealth inequality, might increase the desired debt default rate of future policy makers, making issuing debt to finance primary education unfeasible.
|Date of creation:||27 May 2005|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.unimol.it
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, .
""An Economic Model of Representative Democracy'',"
CARESS Working Papres
95-02, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
- Roland Bénabou, 1996.
"Inequality and Growth,"
in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1996, Volume 11, pages 11-92
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Benabou, R., 1996. "Inequality and Growth," Working Papers 96-22, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
- Bénabou, Roland, 1996. "Inequality and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1450, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Roland Benabou, 1996. "Inequality and Growth," NBER Working Papers 5658, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Mariacristina De Nardi, 2002.
"Wealth inequality and intergenerational links,"
314, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Mariacristina Nardi, 2004. "Wealth Inequality and Intergenerational Links," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71, pages 743-768, 07.
- Mariacristina De Nardi, 2004. "Wealth Inequality and Intergenerational Links," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(3), pages 743-768.
- Mariacristina deNardi, 2000. "Wealth Inequality and Intergenerational Links," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0547, Econometric Society.
- Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1998. "Sources of Inefficiency in a Representative Democracy: A Dynamic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 139-56, March.
- Debora Di Gioacchino & Sergio Ginebri & Laura Sabani, 2004. "Political support for anti-inflationary monetary policy," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(2), pages 187-200.
- Besley, Timothy J. & Coate, Stephen, 2001.
"Issue Unbundling via Citizens' initiatives,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
2857, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Gianni De Fraja, 2004. "Education and Redistribution," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 94(3), pages 3-44, May-June.
- Roland Benabou, 2000. "Unequal Societies: Income Distribution and the Social Contract," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 96-129, March.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mol:ecsdps:esdp05024. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Claudio Lupi)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.