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|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|10881||2009||12 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : European Journal of Political Economy, Volume 25, Issue 2, June 2009, Pages 225–236
Empirical research has given cause to fear that the demographic ageing in industrialized countries is likely to exert a negative impact on educational spending. Although this line of research shows in many cases a negative correlation between the proportions of the elderly and educational expenditures, a causal link is difficult to prove. To further analyse this topic, this paper uses a unique and representative survey of Swiss voters of all age groups. Results show that elderly people have a clear tendency to be less willing to spend money on education. They rather prefer to spend public resources on health and social security than on education. Furthermore the paper shows that although the elderly are more conservative and in general less inclined to pay for expenditures in the public sector as a whole, there is still an age effect on the willingness to pay for education after controlling for these factors.
The demographic ageing process in most industrialized countries will reverse the demographic pyramid within the next few decades. While the number of young people in education will decrease, the proportion of people beyond the retirement age will almost double within the next forty years. Research in some countries has analyzed the effects these demographic changes will have on educational spending. The existing body of empirical research has so far – with a few exceptions – analyzed the relationship between demographic change and educational spending with cross-sectional or panel analyses of educational spending. Although most results show a negative correlation between the share of elderly in the population and educational spending per pupil, these papers – due to the level of aggregation of the data and the limited number of observable characteristics – do not provide direct evidence that the elderly are less inclined to spend money on education. Therefore, and not surprisingly, these findings have been challenged by a number of empirical and theoretical papers. The present paper reassesses the question of an intergenerational conflict over educational spending by directly looking at the expressed differences in the public spending preferences of Swiss voters. The data-set was constructed specially for the purpose of this analysis and simulates public votes on educational and public finance issues. The paper is organized as follows: Section 2 devotes some space to the theoretical discussion about age and the preferences regarding educational spending and lists the most recent empirical literature. Section 3 presents the hypothesis tested and the methodology applied in this paper. The fourth section presents the data and provides some descriptive statistics. The empirical results are presented in Section 5 and the conclusions drawn in regards to education policy are given in the final section.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The demographic changes underway in most industrialized countries are not only leading to a smaller number of pupils but also to a much larger share of the population in retirement age. Empirical studies in a small number of countries over the last decade have suggested that the ageing of societies might threaten public expenditures on education because the elderly are less inclined to spend money on education. The different preferences of the elderly have been explained by a rational behavior of each age group seeking to push public expenditures in domains where they expect the highest personal benefit. The exceptions found in the empirical literature, i.e. where the elderly do not differ in their preferences for educational expenditures from other age groups, are mostly compatible with this assumption because they are found in contexts where the elderly also profit from educational spending. This can be through positive capitalization effects, in which case the elderly homeowners profit from the fact that a higher school quality translates into higher house-prices, or through intergenerational solidarity, which depends on the one hand on stable neighborhoods (high bonding) and on the other hand on high levels of political decentralization and fiscal autonomy. Although the empirical literature seen as a whole does provide a rather coherent picture, it does not provide a direct proof of age-related differences in preferences regarding education. In order to fill this gap, following an idea of Brunner and Balsdon (2004), we decided to analyze this question with a more direct approach, simulating political initiatives on education expenditures, which can be regarded as realistic in the Swiss political context. With a representative sample of 2025 Swiss citizens we analyzed the response patterns of different age groups to three questions using a rich set of background variables as controls. First, we studied whether older citizens might be willing to back an initiative to increase education expenditures by 10%. Although we did find many factors like political convictions, having children and income influencing the willingness to spend more money on education, the age effect remained significant after controlling for these variables. Secondly, we analyzed how much in extra taxes voters might be willing to pay in order to improve education quality. This question differs from question one insofar as in the first case it was not clear who would have to pay for the extra expenditures on education. The second question was therefore aimed directly at the individual willingness to pay for education. In this case we also find evidence that the elderly are more likely to refuse any increase in taxes to finance the education system. But we also find a very small fraction of elderly people who are more likely to support high taxes even when controlling for income, educational background and other socio-demographic variables. The results indicate that the preferences of the elderly are not homogenous, even if the majority is against paying higher taxes for education. Thirdly, with respect to the sectors the elderly would choose to prioritize, the results confirm our hypothesis (and the findings of Borge and Rattso, 2008) that older people prefer to support those areas from which they expect a higher direct benefit, namely health and social security. Overall, the results corroborate the macro-findings of Grob and Wolter (2007), who had found in their panel estimates for Swiss Cantons that higher shares of the elderly population led to lower levels of educational expenditures by showing that the elderly were indeed less willing to spend money on education. In regard to the high influence of the political orientation and the general willingness to pay for public goods on the willingness to pay for education, it is not entirely clear whether the correlation between age, conservatism and low willingness to pay for public goods is a cohort or an age effect. Independent of this, the genuine age effect found in all three models presented in this paper shows, that the demographic ageing process is indeed likely to exert a significant negative influence on educational budgets in the coming years.