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Lobbying for Education in a Two-sector Model

  • Debora Di Gioacchino
  • Paolo Profeta

Modern economies devote a relevant share of their resources to education. However, even among industrialised countries, there are di􀀞erences in the traits of the education system and in its outcome in terms of human capital composition. The question we pose in this paper is why the composition of human capital is so diversified. The answer we propose is that the education system responds to the economy’’s structure of production. Skills are required by firms according to their needs and are supplied through the education system. We analyse the political economy of education in a two-period model in which heterogeneous firms, specialised in two di􀀞erent sectors, try to induce the government to finance the type of education which is complementary to their production. In the first period, the policy-maker decides the skill composition of new-workers which will determine the supply of skills in the second period. Firms may lobby to obtain their preferred skill composition. We show that in the political equilibr um in which firms in both sectors get organised, the policy-maker chooses the same skill composition that would be chosen by the social planner. Moving to endogenous lobbying, we are able to show that, if there are no costs of lobbying, then both sectors will lobby in equilibrium. However, in the more realistic case in which if lobbying is costly it may be that only one sector will find it profitable to offer monetary contribution; which sector gets organised depends on sectors’’ share in total output, relative productivity and prices of the two sectors.

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Paper provided by University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Public Economics in its series Working Papers with number 138.

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Length: 33
Date of creation: Dec 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sap:wpaper:wp138
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  1. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2000. "Das Human Kapital," Working Papers 2000-17, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  2. Richard E. Baldwin & Frederic Robert-Nicoud, 2002. "Entry and Asymmetric Lobbying: Why Governments Pick Losers," NBER Working Papers 8756, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Felli, L. & Merlo, A., 2000. "Endogenous Lobbying," Working Papers 00-04, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  4. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2006. "Das Human-Kapital: A Theory of the Demise of the Class Structure," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 85-117.
  5. Aghion, Philippe & Meghir, Costas & Vandenbussche, Jérôme, 2005. "Growth, Distance to Frontier and Composition of Human Capital," CEPR Discussion Papers 4860, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan, 1993. "Protection for Sale," CEPR Discussion Papers 827, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Di Gioacchino, Debora & Sabani, Laura, 2009. "Education policy and inequality: A political economy approach," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 463-478, December.
  8. Debora Di Gioacchino & Paola Profeta, 2011. "Lobbying for Education in a Two-sector Model," CESifo Working Paper Series 3446, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. repec:ags:afjare:141665 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Alstadsæter, Annette & Kolm, Anne-Sofie & Larsen, Birthe, 2005. "Money or Joy," Working Papers 23-2005, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Economics.
  11. Graziella Bertocchi and Michael Spagat, 2001. "The Evolution of Modern Educational Systems," Royal Holloway, University of London: Discussion Papers in Economics 01/4, Department of Economics, Royal Holloway University of London, revised Sep 2001.
  12. Murphy, Kevin M & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1991. "The Allocation of Talent: Implications for Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 503-30, May.
  13. Daron Acemoglu, 2000. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 7800, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Jérôme Vandenbussche & Philippe Aghion & Costas Meghir, 2006. "Growth, distance to frontier and composition of human capital," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 97-127, June.
  15. Gene Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1994. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," NBER Working Papers 4877, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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