Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Issues in decentralizing the provision of education

  • 51 Accesses

  • 2 Citations

Abstract

This paper analyzes some of the problems that arise in decentralizing education to the private sector. We concentrate on the difficulties that result from the heterogeneity of students and competition among schools in a location setting. We analyze two main issues, the resources expended by schools and the mix of students in schools, and report on results for two others, the location of schools and their number. For each of these, we investigate the extent to which decentralizing the provision of schooling results in an efficient allocation of resources, and consider the use of vouchers to improve the situation. Our analysis draws on elements of three distinct methodologies: the theory of clubs, location theory, and the theory of monopolistic competition. We find that private schooling will typically be inefficient, but that inefficiency may sometimes be corrected by appropriately designed vouchers.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. AndersonS.P., A.dePalma, and J.-F.Thisse (1992), Discrete Choice Theory of Product Differettiation, Cambridge: MIT Press.

  2. BesleyT. and S.Coate (1991), “Public Provision of Private Goods and the Redistribution of Income,” American Economic Review 81, 979–984.

  3. BlomquistS. and V.Christiansen (1995), “Public Provision of Private Goods as a Redistributive Device in an Optimum Income Tax Model,” Scandinavian Journal of Economics 97, 547–567.

  4. Boadway, R., N. Marceau and M. Marchand (1995), “Issues in Decentralizing the Provision of Education Using Vouchers,” mimeo.

  5. BoadwayR. and M.Marchand (1995), “The Use of Public Expenditures for Redistributive Purposes,” Oxford Economic Papers 47, 45–59.

  6. BruecknerJ.K., and K.Lee (1989), “Club Theory with a Peer-Group Effect,” Regional Science and Urban Economics 19, 399–420.

  7. Card, D. (1993), “Using Geographic Variation in College Proximity to Estimate the Return to Schooling,” Working Paper #317, Industrial Relations Section, Princeton University.

  8. deBartolomeC.A. (1990), “Equilibrium and Inefficiency in a Community Model with Peer Group Effects,” Journal of Political Economy 98, 100–133.

  9. Epple, D., and R.E. Romano (1993), “Competition Between Private and Public Schools, Vouchers and Peer Group Effects,” mimeo.

  10. FriedmanM. (1955), Free to Choose, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

  11. FujitaM. (1989), Urban Economic Theory, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  12. IrelandN.J. (1990), “The Mix of Social and Private Provision of Goods and Services,” Journal of Public Economics 43, 201–219.

  13. LaffontJ.-J., and J.Tirole (1993), A Theory of Incentives in Procurement and Regulation, Cambridg: MIT Press.

  14. ManskiC.F. (1992), “Educational Choice (Vouchers) and Social Mobility,” Economics of Education Review 11, 351–369.

  15. RoemerJ.E. (1992), “Providing Equal Educational Opportunity: Public Versus Voucher Schools,” Social Philosophy and Policy 9, 291–309.

  16. SalopS. (1979), “Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods,” Bell Journal of Economics 10, 141–156.

  17. StarrettD.A. (1988), Foundations of Public Economics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  18. TiroleJ. (1988), The Theory of Industrial Organization, Cambridge: MIT Press.

  19. UsherD. (1977), “The Welfare Economics of the Socialization of Commodities,” Journal of Public Economics 8, 151–168.

Download references

Author information

Additional information

We would like to thank Olivier Debande, Jean-François Wen, two anonymous referees, and seminar participants at the 1st meeting of the Canadian Public Economics Study Group and the 51 st congress of the International Institute of Public Finance for helpful comments. Stefan Buergi and Luc Savard provided useful research assistance. We are also grateful to the SSHRCC and the FCAR for financial support.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Boadway, R., Marceau, N. & Marchand, M. Issues in decentralizing the provision of education. Int Tax Public Finan 3, 311–327 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00418947

Download citation

Key words

  • education
  • decentralization
  • vouchers