Are the Elderly a Threat to Educational Expenditures?

33 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2007

See all articles by Alejandra Cattaneo

Alejandra Cattaneo

University of Zurich

Stefan C. Wolter

Swiss Coordination Centre for Research in Education (SKBF); University of Bern - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: September 2007

Abstract

Empirical research has given cause to fear that the demographic ageing in industrialized countries is likely to exert a negative impact on educational spending. These papers have linked the share of the elderly with the per capita or per pupil spending on education at the local, state-wide or national level, trying to control for other exogenous effects. Although this line of research shows in many cases a negative correlation between the shares of elderly people and educational expenditures, a causal link is difficult to prove. This paper uses a unique and representative survey of Swiss voters of all age groups. The analysis shows that elderly people present a clear tendency to be less willing to spend money on education. They would rather prefer to spend public resources on health and social security than on education. Furthermore the paper shows that much of the negative correlation between the shares of elderly and educational spending is the result of the elderly being politically more conservative and in general less inclined to pay for expenditures in the public sector as a whole.

Keywords: public finance, education finance, demographics, survey, Switzerland

JEL Classification: H52, H72, I22, J18

Suggested Citation

Cattaneo, Alejandra and Wolter, Stefan C., Are the Elderly a Threat to Educational Expenditures? (September 2007). CESifo Working Paper No. 2089. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1015727

Alejandra Cattaneo

University of Zurich ( email )

Rämistrasse 71
Zürich, CH-8006
Switzerland

Stefan C. Wolter (Contact Author)

Swiss Coordination Centre for Research in Education (SKBF) ( email )

CH - 5000 Aarau
Switzerland
+41 62 835 23 90 (Phone)
+41 62 835 23 99 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.skbf-csre.ch

University of Bern - Department of Economics ( email )

Gesellschaftstrasse 49
Bern, CH-3012
Switzerland
+41 31 631 40 95 (Phone)
+41 31 631 39 92 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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