Paying for Education: Debating the Price of Progress, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Paying for Education

Debating the Price of Progress, 1st Edition

By Peter Davies


292 pages

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pub: 2018-04-18
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Which type of education should we pay for?

How much education should we pay for?

Can we buy knowledge about how to improve education?

Uniquely presenting a general overview of economic principles applicable to all sectors of education, Paying for Education makes key economic ideas accessible to non-economists, whilst drawing on insights from other social science disciplines. It examines the implications of its analysis, especially for two important areas of policy – paying for teachers and paying for teaching in higher education – in order to highlight some underlying issues and consider alternative policy options, as well as reflect on possible futures.

The chapters examine:

  • The value of education for the individual
  • The value of education for society
  • Private and public demands for education
  • Choosing a system to supply education
  • The cost, efficiency and equity of providing education

Analysing evidence and case studies on a global scale, Paying for Education is an essential read for academics, educational administrators, policy makers, leaders in educational organisations and all of those interested in the future of how we pay for education.


‘Paying for Education is an outstanding contribution to explaining and deciphering the complex economic issues confronting students, their families and societies. [..] The book is fully accessible to the curious reader, but also informative and technically rigorous for the analyst.’

Henry M. Levin, William Heart Kilpatrick Professor of Economics and Education, Columbia University and David Jacks Professor of Higher Education and Economics, Emeritus, Stanford University, USA

‘Paying for Education by Peter Davies is one of those ‘must-have’ books for students of education. It presents the economic and sociological principles necessary to gain a deeper understanding of the political issues around how and why education should be funded, and by whom. At its core are discussions about the value of education for individuals and for society, and how all this should be systematised to provide effectiveness in outcomes and efficiency in delivery.’

Anthony Kelly, Professor of Education, University of Southampton, UK.

‘The real strength of the book is in its clear and accessible explanations of core concepts in the economics of education: concise and genuinely accessible to a range of social scientists,'

Anna Vignoles, Professor of Education, University of Cambridge, UK

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction Chapter 2: The Value of Education for the Individual Chapter 3: The Value of Education for a Society Chapter 4: Private and Public Demand for Education Chapter 5: Providing Education: Productivity, Cost, Efficiency and Equity Chapter 6: Supplying Education: Choosing a System Chapter 7: Policy Questions

About the Author

Peter Davies is Professor of Education Policy Research, University of Birmingham, UK and Affiliated Professor, Stockholm University, Sweden.

About the Series

Foundations and Futures of Education

Foundations and Futures of Education focuses on key emerging issues in education as well as continuing debates within the field. The series is inter-disciplinary, and includes historical, philosophical, sociological, psychological and comparative perspectives on the purposes and nature of education; increasing interdisciplinarity within the field; and the theory-practice divide.

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