Fall 2008

Economics of Education

Listed in: Economics, as ECON-26


Steven G. Rivkin (Section 01)


Investments in education benefit individuals and society in a variety of ways. Education affects the productivity of the labor force, economic growth, the earnings of individuals, social mobility, the distribution of income, and many other economic and social outcomes. In 1990 educational expenditures exceeded seven percent of the Gross Domestic Product of the United States. A sector this large and important poses a number of serious policy questions-especially since it lacks much of the competitive discipline present in profit-making sectors of the economy. Should we increase expenditures? Are resources allocated efficiently? Equitably? How should the sector be organized? Who should bear the costs of education? Which policy changes will be effective? Many of these questions are part of the national policy debate. This course will use economic principles to study these and other issues which have been central to discussions of education policy. Requisite: Economics 11 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 50 students. Fall semester. Professor Rivkin.