Quasi Markets in Education

Editor: Gianni De Fraja, University of Leicester and Universita' di Roma "Tor Vergata"

Abstract:

The optimal scale of supply of education services is very small, as witnessed by the observation that all levels of education are provided, except at most in very small countries, by a myriad of separate organisations, be they schools or universities. On the other hand there are several special features of the supply of education which make this industry different from the textbook competitive industry. The rationing role of price is severely restrained, supply by state-owned and state run supply is vast, but not exclusive, with private suppliers fiercely competitive and very different in nature and behaviour from government ones. In addition, the set of laws and rules that supplier must adhere to is much larger than in other sectors. There are also severe geographical constraints to competition, as users of the service cannot move freely from supplier to supplier. Consumption is compulsory, and (mostly) the beneficiaries do not pay for the services; the characteristics of users affect heavily the quality of the service received, and so on.

Papers are invited for the special issue to study any aspect of the interaction between suppliers or types of supplier in the education industry. Topics covered could therefore be, but are clearly not limited to, the peer group effect in school; the role of government or private rankings of universities; the role of the governance of institutions, private or public, religious or for-profit; the role of prices; the effect on overall economic growth of the organisation of the education sector, in regard for example, to measurable characteristics of the supply side of the education sector, to differences in rate of (private or social) return; the provision of incentives to suppliers and consumers in the market.

Please notice: O2 will award a prize of 5,000 euros for an article in the field of health, education, and welfare. Articles published in the special issue will be considered for the prize.



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