The evaluation of welfare under alternative models of higher education finance
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.
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