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Does a generous welfare state crowd out student effort? Panel data evidence from international student tests

  • Justina Fischer
  • Torberg Falch

Student achievement has been identified as an important contributor to economic growth. This paper investigates the hypothesis that redistributive government activities have a negative effect on investment in human capital using data from international comparative student achievement tests in Mathematics and Science for over 70 countries during the period 1980 to 2003. In fixed effects models, the impact on student achievement of both government consumption and government social expenditures are negative and seem to be robust across different model specifications. The effect of social expenditures appears to be driven by spending on pensions and active labor market policies.

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Paper provided by Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universit�t Konstanz in its series TWI Research Paper Series with number 25.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:twi:respas:0025
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  1. Hanushek, Eric A. & Luque, Javier A., 2003. "Efficiency and equity in schools around the world," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 481-502, October.
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  5. Bourdon, Jean & Frölich, Markus & Michaelowa, Katharina, 2007. "Teacher Shortages, Teacher Contracts and their Impact on Education in Africa," IZA Discussion Papers 2844, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  7. Agell, Jonas & Ohlsson, Henry & Skogman Thoursie, Peter, 2003. "Growth Effects of Government Expenditure and Taxation in Rich Countries: A Comment," Research Papers in Economics 2003:14, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  8. Fölster, Stefan & Henrekson, Magnus, 1998. "Growth Effects of Government Expenditure and Taxation in Rich Countries," Working Paper Series 503, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 20 Jun 2000.
  9. Glomm, Gerhard & Ravikumar, B, 1992. "Public versus Private Investment in Human Capital Endogenous Growth and Income Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 818-34, August.
  10. Hogan, Vincent & Walker, Ian, 2007. "Education choice under uncertainty: Implications for public policy," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 894-912, December.
  11. Kneller, Richard & Bleaney, Michael F. & Gemmell, Norman, 1999. "Fiscal policy and growth: evidence from OECD countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 171-190, November.
  12. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2007. "The Role of School Improvement in Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 12832, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Fischer, Justina A.V., 2007. "The Impact of Direct Democracy on Public Education: Evidence for Swiss Students in Reading, Mathematics and Natural Science," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 688, Stockholm School of Economics.
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