IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Basic education as a human right redux


  • Willmore, Larry


The Universal Declaration of Human Rights promises free elementary education and free choice of schools to children and their parents. International fora emphasise the first right while neglecting the second. This essay examines arguments for limiting school choice and finds each of them to be unconvincing. It then describes three school systems: India, with free choice, but only for those who can afford to pay; Sweden, with taxpayer-funded free choice for everyone; and Finland, which allows parents almost no choice at all in basic education.

Suggested Citation

  • Willmore, Larry, 2008. "Basic education as a human right redux," MPRA Paper 40478, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:40478

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. repec:hrv:faseco:33077889 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Böhlmark, Anders & Lindahl, Mikael, 2007. "The Impact of School Choice on Pupil Achievement, Segregation and Costs: Swedish Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 2786, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Ahlin, Åsa, 2003. "Does School Competition Matter? Effects of a Large-Scale School Choice Reform on Student Performance," Working Paper Series 2003:2, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    4. Andrei Shleifer, 1998. "State versus Private Ownership," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 133-150, Fall.
    5. Mark Gradstein & Moshe Justman, 2002. "Education, Social Cohesion, and Economic Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1192-1204, September.
    6. Larry Willmore, 2004. "Basic Education As A Human Right," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(4), pages 17-21, December.
    7. Sandstrom, F. Mikael & Bergstrom, Fredrik, 2005. "School vouchers in practice: competition will not hurt you," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 351-380, February.
    8. Michael Kremer & Nazmul Chaudhury & F. Halsey Rogers & Karthik Muralidharan & Jeffrey Hammer, 2005. "Teacher Absence in India: A Snapshot," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 658-667, 04/05.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    education; human rights; public goods; vouchers; India; Sweden; Finland;

    JEL classification:

    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:40478. 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: (Joachim Winter). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.