An International Comparison of Costs and Benefits of Education Systems
Comparative education research is getting increasingly important in the face of the EU process of open coordination of education policies. An international comparison of expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP puts Austria in the front league of the developed world. The high priority granted to education in public expenditure seems to have paid off in an above-average score of Austrian 15-year-olds in reading, mathematics and the natural sciences as shown in the OECD-PISA study (Programme for International Student Assessment). The only downside indicated by the PISA results are the large gender differences in the scores in mathematics, natural science and reading in Austria. Given that the future will be increasingly technology-driven, the large male-biased gender gap in mathematics and the natural science could be expected to limit the career opportunities and earnings potential of women in Austria. International differences in the returns to higher education reflect different skill demand and supply situations. They arise from a number of factors – education attainment levels, minimum wage legislation and its impact on the wage structure, the coverage of the work force by collective bargaining agreements and the strength of unions, the relative incidence of part-time work at different educational attainment levels, the division of educational expenditure by individuals, states and enterprises, risk of unemployment by educational attainment, and the progressivity of income tax regimes. Gender differences in rates of return to education tend to be rather small in the majority of developed countries. Only France and Denmark have a significantly lower rate of return to higher education of women compared to men, while the opposite is true of Germany. Factors on the supply and demand side may account for the different rates of return to education by gender, i.e., gender segmentation in education and/or the labour market.
Kosten-Nutzen-Analyse; Bildungsausgaben; Bildungsertrag; Internationaler Vergleich; OECD-Länder; Kosten und Nutzen des Bildungssystems im internationalen Vergleich; An International Comparison of Costs and Benefits of Education Systems
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