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Equity in educational expenditures : can government subsidies help?

Author

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  • Das, Jishnu

Abstract

When there are externalities across households, governments can improve economic outcomes by equitably subsidizing education. But this chain of causality works only if (1) allocated resources reach the final recipients, and (2) equity in public subsidies translates directly into equity in total educational expenditures, including private spending at the household level. Using a unique data set fromZambia, the author shows that whether these conditions are met depends on the specific schemes used to allocate resources as well as the exact form of the subsidies. First, subsidies allocated through clear guidelines and legislated rules reached the final recipients, but those allocated at the discretion of province and educational offices did not. Second, even those components of subsidies that were progressive (in that the share of total subsidies for the poor was greater than the share for the non-poor) had no effect on inequality in total educational expenditures due to the crowding-out of household spending.

Suggested Citation

  • Das, Jishnu, 2004. "Equity in educational expenditures : can government subsidies help?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3249, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3249
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Reinikka, Ritva & Svensson, Jakob, 2001. "Explaining Leakage of Public Funds," WIDER Working Paper Series 147, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
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    5. Ablo, Emmanuel & Reinikka, Ritva, 1998. "Do budgets really matter? - evidence from public spending on education and health in Uganda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1926, The World Bank.
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    8. repec:hrv:faseco:30725664 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Hanushek, Eric, 1971. "Teacher Characteristics and Gains in Student Achievement: Estimation Using Micro Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(2), pages 280-288, May.
    10. Das, J. & Dercon, S. & Habyarimana, J. & Krishnan, P., 2004. "‘When Can School Inputs Improve Test Scores?’," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0437, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Margaret Koziol & Courtney Tolmie, 2010. "Using Public Expenditure Tracking Surveys to Monitor Projects and Small-Scale Programs : A Guidebook," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2502, April.
    2. Reinikka, Ritva & Svensson, Jakob, 2011. "The power of information in public services: Evidence from education in Uganda," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 956-966, August.
    3. Linden, Leigh L. & Shastry, Gauri Kartini, 2012. "Grain inflation: Identifying agent discretion in response to a conditional school nutrition program," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 128-138.

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