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Education

Incentives, choice and accountability in the provision of public services

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Incentives, choice and accountability in the provision of public services. This paper discusses a theoretical framework to study the issues of competition and incentives without relying on the standard profit-oriented "market" model in the context of the debates about public service reform in the U.K. It uses the idea that the production of public services coheres around a mission, and discusses how decentralized service provision can raise productivity by matching motivated workers to their preferred missions. The focus on competition and incentives cuts across traditional debates about public versus private ownership and allows for the possibility of involving private non-profits. The authors also address concerns about the consequences of allowing more flexibility in mission design and competition on inequality. By Timothy Besley and Maitreesh Ghatak.

 

By Institute for Fiscal Studies, UK.

Education Policy Resource.


Ability, Parental Background and Education Policy: Empirical Evidence from a Social Experiment

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Ability, Parental Background and Education Policy: Empirical Evidence from a Social Experiment . Following the great expansion of secondary education in the United States between 1910 and 1940, Sweden was one of the first Western European countries to attempt such an expansion by increasing the years of compulsory schooling and and improving access to academic type education by abolishing early selection. The reform was preceded by a large scale area based social experiment where 25% of the country?s municipalities were assigned to the reform. We use this assignment, together with rich individual data to evaluate this major educational interventions. Our key findings are that this reform increased the educational attainment of individuals with unskilled fathers. In addition it caused significant and large increases in the earnings of those with unskilled fathers and above median ability. By Costas Meghir and Marten Palme.

 

By Institute for Fiscal Studies, UK.

Education Policy Resource.


Decline in the take-up of modern languages at degree level

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Decline in the take-up of modern languages at degree level. The last decade has seen declining numbers of students wishing to study modern foreign languages at degree level and university language departments are experiencing serious falls in recruitment. This inquiry explores the reasons for the decline by seeking answers through research interviews with selected undergraduates and sixth-formers as well as heads of modern languages in schools and modern language programme leaders in the university sector. By Catherine Jane Watts.

 

By Anglo-German Foundation, UK, Germany.

Education Policy Resource.


Mothers' employment and childcare use

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Mothers' employment and childcare use. This presentation reveals that mothers still face substantial hurdles in undertaking paid employment. For those who do manage to work, childcare arrangements are a diverse mixture of carers, cost and quality. Government initiatives to increase the availability of childcare places have a substantial shortfall to address while measures to increase the "affordability" of care, such as the Working Families Tax Credit, may have limited impact on the work choices of mothers.

 

By Institute for Fiscal Research, UK.

Education Policy Resource.