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Social vs. Private Returns of Education

Social vs. Private Returns of Education

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Rate of Return to Investment in
Education

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Optimal Level of Education
• Optimality criterion for education: maximum
difference between returns and costs
• Social: the optimal level of education is “primary”
where costs are subsidized and returns are high
• Private: the optimal level of education is “higher”
where costs are heavily subsidized and returns are
very high
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Social Costs & Returns

Social Returns

Costs/Returns
Tertiary

Social Costs

Secondary
Primary
Public decision: Invest in primary education

Years of schooling completed

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Private Costs & Returns

Private Returns

Costs/Returns

Tertiary
Secondary

Private Costs

Primary
Private decision: Invest in higher education
Years of schooling completed

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Education and Development


Distribution of education

– Lorenz curves for the distribution of education


Education Inequality and Poverty

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Lorenz Curves for Education
in India and South Korea, 1990

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Gini Coefficients for Education in
85 Countries, 1990

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Health-Care and Development
Measurement and distribution



Life expectancy at birth



Child mortality



Malnutrition and hunger

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Life Expectancy in World Regions

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Under-5 Mortality Rates in Various
World Regions

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Proportion of Children under 5 Who Are
Underweight, 1990 and 2005

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