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International Handbook on the Economics of Education

Edited by Geraint Johnes and Jill Johnes

This major Handbook comprehensively surveys the rapidly growing field of the economics of education. It is unique in that it comprises original contributions on an exceptional range of topics from a review of human capital, signalling and screening models, to consideration of issues such as educational externalities and economic growth, funding models, determinants of educational success, the educational production function, educational standards and efficiency measurement. Labour market issues such as the market for teachers and the transition of students from school to work are also explored.
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Chapter 18: Education and Housing

William H. Hoyt


William H. Hoyt 1 Introduction There is an enormous literature, surveyed in this volume by Naylor and Smith (Chapter 11) and by Bradley and Taylor (Chapter 10) that examines links between educational inputs (expenditures, measures of staffing, demographic characteristics of students) and educational outcomes such as test scores, graduate rates and earnings. While undoubtedly these ‘outputs’ are related to the value of education, that is, how much households are willing to pay for various educational attributes, they are not, in themselves, measures of the value of educational inputs and therefore do not provide sufficient information to address normative issues regarding educational provision. Specifically, without knowledge of how educational outcomes are valued, it would seem to be impossible to address the question of whether public education is efficiently provided. One explanation for the absence of measures of the value of educational outputs, offered by Samuelson (1954), is that the absence of a market for publicly provided goods meant that demands for these goods would not be revealed, making the determination of the efficient provision of them difficult, if not impossible. This argument, at least as made by Samuelson, applied to pure public goods, but would seemingly apply to goods such as publicly provided primary and secondary education which, while not pure public goods, share both the non-excludability and equal provision characteristics, though non-excludability in the case of education is a result of legislative fiat and not inherent in the nature of the good itself. Then...

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