Education: Lessons from Economic Theory and Operational Experience

Nicholas Barr
JEL codes: 
EABER Working Paper Series

This paper talks about how to pay for teaching at universities. It does not talk about financing research, nor about any particular country. Instead, its purpose is to offer a toolkit for policy makers thinking about reform.

The paper sets out lessons for policy design from economic theory (section 2) and the experience of developed countries (section 3). Economic theory, however, is not enough. Policy design that outstrips a countrys capacity to implement it effectively is bad policy design. This paper therefore deliberately goes beyond theory to include lessons about implementation (section 4). The paper concludes with discussion of the resulting system.