Financing Lifelong Learning

57 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Hessel Oosterbeek

Hessel Oosterbeek

University of Amsterdam - Research Institute in Economics & Econometrics (RESAM); Tinbergen Institute Amsterdam (TIA); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Harry A. Patrinos

World Bank

Date Written: March 1, 2008


This paper describes and analyzes different financial schemes to promote lifelong learning. Considered are financial instruments to stimulate successful early learning, financial aid schemes and subsidization mechanisms. Theoretical analyses about funding of early learning have mainly focused on vouchers. Yet, the available empirical evidence is more ambiguous about the effects of vouchers than about the effects of conditional cash transfers and financial incentives for pupils and teachers. Positive effects of financial incentives to pupils are not restricted to high ability pupils, as low ability students also seem to benefit. The evidence regarding the effects of subsidy forms is limited. The most prominent knowledge gaps regarding the effects of various financing schemes related to lifelong learning are the effects of vouchers in compulsory education; financial aid schemes for students; and entitlements and individual learning accounts.

Keywords: Tertiary Education, Access to Finance, Primary Education, Teaching and Learning, Economics of Education

Suggested Citation

Oosterbeek, Hessel and Patrinos, Harry Anthony, Financing Lifelong Learning (March 1, 2008). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 4569, Available at SSRN:

Hessel Oosterbeek (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam - Research Institute in Economics & Econometrics (RESAM) ( email )

Roetersstraat 11
+31 20 525 4242 (Phone)
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Tinbergen Institute Amsterdam (TIA)

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Rotterdam, 3062 PA

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072

Harry Anthony Patrinos

World Bank ( email )

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Washington, DC 20433
United States

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