Working Paper No. 84. Andreas Bergh and Günther Fink (2006). Higher Education: Does Public Expenditure Increase Enrollment?

Abstract: This paper evaluates the effects of public education expenditure on student enrollment in tertiary education. We use a cross-section of 132 countries to demonstrate that public expenditure on primary and secondary education positively affects tertiary enrollment rates, while the generosity of tertiary education subsidies themselves do not appear to have any signifcant impact on tertiary enrollment. The results presented are robust to various specifcations, and raise serious concerns regarding the within country allocation of public resources on education, which seems to be biased towards higher education, especially for less developed countries.