The Three Core Values Of Education And Social Return To Education

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With one of the Millennium Development goals being to achieve universal primary education, education and its returns clearly relates to economic development (Todaro, 24). There are many ways to define economic development, and the most apt way in this case would be to consider the three core values of development set out by Goulet, of “Sustenance, Self-esteem and Freedom” (Todaro, pg 21). Therefore, to become a more developed economy would be to improve the ability of their citizens to sustain themselves better; to have greater self-esteem (in this case better self-worth in society) or to have greater freedom of choice. Increased levels of education can result in improvements to these core development. These improvements can be grouped into …show more content…
The core of the discussion on social returns to education is the idea that Governments can supply education to individuals through the provision of public schools and subsidized subjects at higher levels. This means that there is an implicit social cost that is easily identified as the amount of education subsided could be used to fund other areas of the economy key to economic development such as healthcare, funding a welfare system or anti-crime measures. However, if the government is able to gain returns to these areas through providing education, then there is would be serious societal returns for spending on education and it would be in the best interest of society to spend on education. Moretti has produced a number of articles about the societal returns to education, in particular education and its effect on crime and health. He finds that there is strong evidence that higher levels of education result in better health for individuals. This could be seen as a social benefit to education in countries where healthcare is nationalized as healthier economic agent’s results in less strain on the healthcare system as a whole. Cutler and Lleras-Muney found empirical evidence to support this, showing that “An additional four years of education lowers five-year mortality by 1.8%” (Cutler and Lleras-Muney 2006). In …show more content…
This is partly because the empirical studies have been suggested to be indicative but not sufficient in explaining the total social returns and the conclusions that they reach are frequently disputed. In addition to critiques of the earlier evidence, Psacharopoulos finds that as education levels move from primary, to secondary and secondary to tertiary, the cost of teachers and supplies rise rapidly, stifling the potential returns (Psacharopoulos, 1985). In addition to this, he suggests that the current provision of education is not efficiently allocated and there is evidence that “a reduction of public subsidies to higher education… [should bring] the private rate closer to the social rate” (Psacharopoulos, 1985). Theoretically, it has been suggested that the level of education provided should be at the point where Marginal social benefit (MSB) is equal to marginal social cost (MSC) (Todaro,). Therefore we could say that whilst there is evidence that there are a large number of social benefits to education; the social costs of education outweigh

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