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The evaluation of welfare under alternative models of higher education finance

Research output: Working paper

Published

Publication date2001
Place of publicationLancaster University
PublisherThe Department of Economics
Original languageEnglish

Publication series

NameEconomics Working Paper Series

Abstract

A model is developed which allows us to examine the welfare effects of alternative methods of financing access to higher education. Under an extreme specification of the social welfare function, it is shown that it does not matter whether higher education is financed privately or through the exchequer. Under a more general specification of the social welfare function, conditions may be derived under which (a) private finance is more welfare enhancing than public finance and (b) public finance is more welfare enhancing than private finance. Empirical estimates of the social welfare function are used to draw policy conclusions.