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Educational Federalism and the Quality Effects of Tuition Fees


  • Kemnitz, Alexander


This paper investigates how the abolishment of a ban on tuition fees affects the quality of higher education with centralized and decentralized decision making. It is shown that tuition fees fully crowd public funds under centralization and quality of university education does not improve. However, with decentralized decisions total higher education spending increases in the tuition level. Therefore, decentralization can lead to a higher quality of university education than centralization although the opposite holds when funding is restricted to be public.

Suggested Citation

  • Kemnitz, Alexander, 2007. "Educational Federalism and the Quality Effects of Tuition Fees," Dresden Discussion Paper Series in Economics 08/07, Technische Universität Dresden, Faculty of Business and Economics, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:tuddps:0807

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bevia, Carmen & Iturbe-Ormaetxe, Inigo, 2002. " Redistribution and Subsidies for Higher Education," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 104(2), pages 321-340, June.
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    9. Panu Poutvaara, 2004. "Educating Europe: Should Public Education be Financed with Graduate Taxes or Income-contingent Loans?," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 50(4), pages 663-684.
    10. Moshe Justman & Jacques-Francois Thisse, 2000. "Local Public Funding of Higher Education When Skilled Labor is Imperfectly Mobile," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 7(3), pages 247-258, May.
    11. repec:oup:cesifo:v:54:y:2008:i:2:p:99-120. is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Andersson, Fredrik & Konrad, Kai A., 2003. "Human capital investment and globalization in extortionary states," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1539-1555, August.
    13. Somanathan, Rohini, 1998. "School heterogeneity, human capital accumulation, and standards," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 369-397, March.
    14. von Weizsäcker, Robert K & Wigger, Berthold, 1998. "Risk, Resources and Education," CEPR Discussion Papers 1808, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    15. Soares, Jorge, 2005. "Public education reform: Community or national funding of education?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 669-697, April.
    16. Frank Kupferschmidt & Berthold U. Wigger, 2006. "Öffentliche versus private Finanzierung der Hochschulbildung: Effizienz- und Verteilungsaspekte," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 7(2), pages 285-307, May.
    17. De Fraja, Gianni, 2001. "Education Policies: Equity, Efficiency and Voting Equilibrium," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(471), pages 104-119, May.
    18. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 2003. "Centralized versus decentralized provision of local public goods: a political economy approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2611-2637, December.
    19. Frederick van der Ploeg & Reinhilde Veugelers, 2008. "Towards Evidence-based Reform of European Universities," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 54(2), pages 99-120.
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    Cited by:

    1. Elsayyad, May & Konrad, Kai A., 2012. "Fighting multiple tax havens," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 295-305.
    2. Alexander Haupt & Tim Krieger & Thomas Lange, 2011. "Competition for the International Pool of Talent: Education Policy and Student Mobility," Working Papers CIE 35, Paderborn University, CIE Center for International Economics.
    3. Björn Kauder & Niklas Potrafke, 2013. "Government Ideology and Tuition Fee Policy: Evidence from the German States," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 59(4), pages 628-649, December.
    4. Lydia Mechtenberg & Roland Strausz, 2008. "The Bologna process: how student mobility affects multi-cultural skills and educational quality," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 15(2), pages 109-130, April.
    5. Marcel Gerard, 2010. "Financing Bologna Students' Mobility," Taxation Papers 26, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
    6. Delpierre, Matthieu & Verheyden, Bertrand, 2014. "Student and worker mobility under university and government competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 26-41.
    7. Tim Krieger & Thomas Lange, 2010. "Education policy and tax competition with imperfect student and labor mobility," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 17(6), pages 587-606, December.
    8. Ehlers, Tim, 2011. "University graduation dependent on family's wealth, ability and social status," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 120, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    9. Silke Uebelmesser & Marcel Gérard, 2014. "Financing Higher Education when Students and Graduates are Internationally Mobile," Jena Economic Research Papers 2014-009, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    10. Marcel Gérard, 2008. "Financing Bologna, the Internationally Mobile Students in European Higher Education," CESifo Working Paper Series 2391, CESifo Group Munich.
    11. Gabrielle Demange & Robert Fenge & Silke Uebelmesser, 2014. "Financing Higher Education in a Mobile World," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 16(3), pages 343-371, June.
    12. Hübner, Malte, 2012. "The welfare effects of discriminating between in-state and out-of-state students," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 364-374.
    13. Gabrielle Demange & Robert Fenge & Silke Übelmesser, 2008. "Financing Higher Education and Labor Mobility," CESifo Working Paper Series 2362, CESifo Group Munich.
    14. Maria Racionero & Elena Del Rey, 2012. "Choosing the type of income-contingent loan: risk-sharing versus risk-pooling," CEPR Discussion Papers 671, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    15. Dwenger, Nadja & Storck, Johanna & Wrohlich, Katharina, 2012. "Do tuition fees affect the mobility of university applicants? Evidence from a natural experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 155-167.
    16. repec:got:cegedp:120 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Thomas Lange, 2008. "Local Public Funding of Higher Education when Students and Skilled Workers are Mobile," Working Papers CIE 11, Paderborn University, CIE Center for International Economics.

    More about this item


    Higher Education; Federalism; Tuition Fees;

    JEL classification:

    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid


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