The Distributional Bias of Public Education: Causes and Consequences

29 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2006

See all articles by Era Dabla-Norris

Era Dabla-Norris

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Mark Gradstein

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Date Written: November 2004

Abstract

While public education is often intended to be progressive in its effects on income distribution, in reality its incidence is often skewed toward the rich. This paper argues that the extent of this bias is directly related to institutional weaknesses in governance. We present a simple dynamic model where weak governing institutions allow the rich to be more effective in appropriating a larger share of public education spending thereby preventing inequality reduction. The empirical part provides tentative support for this view, showing that the progressiveness of public education spending is related to the strength of governance.

Keywords: Public education, incidence bias, inequality, governance

JEL Classification: I2, H42, O11, O15, O17

Suggested Citation

Dabla-Norris, Era and Gradstein, Mark, The Distributional Bias of Public Education: Causes and Consequences (November 2004). IMF Working Paper No. 04/214, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=879039

Era Dabla-Norris (Contact Author)

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street NW
Washington, DC 20431
United States

Mark Gradstein

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev - Department of Economics ( email )

Beer-Sheva 84105
Israel
+97 2 8647 2288 (Phone)
+97 2 8647 2941 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

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Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.cesifo.de

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

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MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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