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Incentives for Efficiency and Equity in the School System

Eric A. Hanushek
Published Date: 
Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik
9 (Special Issue)
pp. 5-27

Education around the world has gotten increased attention over the past few decades. It takes little to convince most policy makers, whether in developed or developing countries, that investments in education are worthwhile. As a result, education occupies a substantial portion of public budgets everywhere. Yet, even as this conviction about the value of schooling grows, a dissatisfaction with one’s own schools is growing alongside in a wide range of countries. Perhaps no place is this clearer than in Germany, where the PISA results provoked a broad reconsideration of many long-held beliefs about the success of German schools. But it also exists in many other countries. At the heart of the issue, countries want to ensure that their investments actually pay off as they expect. The theme of his paper is that making this happen will require some substantial changes in approaches and policies. At the same time, it is important to be clear about the existing information and its implications for policy decisions.