To Segregate or to Integrate: Education Politics and Democracy

IZA Discussion Paper No. 2967

UCLA Department of Economics Working Paper No. 831

57 Pages Posted: 19 Jan 2004

See all articles by David de la Croix

David de la Croix

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES); Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) - Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE)

Matthias Doepke

Northwestern University - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 4 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 2007

Abstract

The governments of nearly all countries are major providers of primary and secondary education to their citizens. In some countries, however, public schools coexist with private schools, while in others the government is the sole provider of education. In this study, we ask why different societies make different choices regarding the mix of private and public schooling. We develop a theory which integrates private education and fertility decisions with voting on public schooling expenditures. In a given political environment, high income inequality leads to more private education, as rich people opt out of the public system. More private education, in turn, results in an improved quality of public education, because public spending can be concentrated on fewer students. Comparing across political systems, we find that concentration of political power can lead to multiple equilibria in the determination of public education spending. The main predictions of the theory are consistent with state-level and micro data from the United States as well as cross-country evidence from the PISA study.

Keywords: Education Funding, Inequality, Voting, Political Power, Segregation, Public Education, Private Education, Voting, Democracy

JEL Classification: D72, I21, H42, O10

Suggested Citation

de la Croix, David and Doepke, Matthias, To Segregate or to Integrate: Education Politics and Democracy (August 2007). IZA Discussion Paper No. 2967, UCLA Department of Economics Working Paper No. 831, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=487643

David De la Croix

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) ( email )

3, Place Montesquieu
Louvain-la-Neuve, 1348
Belgium
+32 10 47 3945 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.de-la-croix.be

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) - Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) ( email )

34 Voie du Roman Pays
B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, b-1348
Belgium

Matthias Doepke (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Department of Economics ( email )

2003 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

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