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Redistribution Through Education: The Value of Public Education Spending

Author

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  • Sergio Urzua

    (Department of Economics at the University of Maryland)

Abstract

This chapter assesses how publicly funded education affects the income distribution. It discusses and compares different approaches to measuring the consequences of government education spending. The empirical quantification of the private returns to education, the estimation of the elasticity of school enrollment to public spending in the sector, and the identification of ageearnings profiles are the building blocks of the analysis. The methods are implemented using aggregate level data and cross-sectional household surveys from Chile and Ghana. Real-world data limitations are taken into account. From the country comparison, we identify differences in how families demand education, how labor markets “value” human capital, and how public initiatives might shape income inequality and poverty. The analysis illustrates the extent to which conventional incidence analysis informs about the distributional effects of fiscal expenditure on education.

Suggested Citation

  • Sergio Urzua, 2019. "Redistribution Through Education: The Value of Public Education Spending," Commitment to Equity (CEQ) Working Paper Series 88, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tul:ceqwps:88
    as

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    File URL: http://repec.tulane.edu/RePEc/ceq/ceq88.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2019
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    2. Mahdi Barouni & Stijn Broecke, 2014. "The Returns to Education in Africa: Some New Estimates," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(12), pages 1593-1613, December.
    3. Gary S. Becker, 1962. "Investment in Human Capital: A Theoretical Analysis," NBER Chapters, in: Investment in Human Beings, pages 9-49, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Sergio Urzúa, 2008. "Racial Labor Market Gaps: The Role of Abilities and Schooling Choices," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
    5. Santiago Acerenza & Néstor Gandelman, 2017. "Household Education Spending in Latin America and the Caribbean: Evidence from Income and Expenditure Surveys," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 98120, Inter-American Development Bank.
    6. Aaron, Henry & McGuire, Martin, 1970. "Public Goods and Income Distribution," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 38(6), pages 907-920, November.
    7. Altonji, Joseph G, 1993. "The Demand for and Return to Education When Education Outcomes Are Uncertain," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(1), pages 48-83, January.
    8. Keane, Michael P & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1997. "The Career Decisions of Young Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(3), pages 473-522, June.
    9. Jorge Rodríguez & Sergio Urzúa & Loreto Reyes, 2016. "Heterogeneous Economic Returns to Post-Secondary Degrees: Evidence from Chile," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 51(2), pages 416-460.
    10. Stephen V. Cameron & James J. Heckman, 1998. "Life Cycle Schooling and Dynamic Selection Bias: Models and Evidence for Five Cohorts," NBER Working Papers 6385, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    13. Santiago Acerenza & Néstor Gandelman, 2019. "Household Education Spending in Latin America and the Caribbean: Evidence from Income and Expenditure Surveys," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 14(1), pages 61-87, Winter.
    14. Maria Marta Ferreyra & Ciro Avitabile & Javier Botero Álvarez & Francisco Haimovich Paz & Sergio Urzúa, 2017. "At a Crossroads," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 26489, December.
    15. James J. Heckman & Alan B. Krueger, 2005. "Inequality in America: What Role for Human Capital Policies?," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262582600 edited by Benjamin M. Friedman, December.
    16. Peet, Evan D. & Fink, Günther & Fawzi, Wafaie, 2015. "Returns to education in developing countries: Evidence from the living standards and measurement study surveys," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 69-90.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public Spending; Education; Incidence Analysis; Inequality;

    JEL classification:

    • I26 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Returns to Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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