ERIC Number: ED463567
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Political Preferences and the Privatization of Education: Evidence from the UK. Occasional Paper.
Belfield, Clive R.
Increasingly, education systems are being privatized through various changes to organizational structures, to school management, and to funding mechanisms. Yet education remains publicly funded and therefore accountable to taxpayer preferences through voting mandates. This paper investigates the determinants of political support for the privatization of education in the United Kingdom. The electorate is assumed to apply cost-benefit calculations, depending on their circumstances, and a set of criteria for evaluating educational reforms is linked to individual voters' characteristics. It is then possible to identify which voters would oppose or advocate educational reforms such as greater school competition, ability selection, and promotion of private schooling. Support for these reforms is then estimated using the British Educational Panel Survey. The results indicate that political preferences largely reflect the anticipated personal costs and benefits from educational reforms. Those with children are in favor of reforms to raise school competition, whereas those working in the education sector are against such reform. Those with higher anticipated tax liabilities favor privatization and support private schooling. Overall, however, educational reforms toward privatization received only minority support in Britain as of 1997. (Contains 29 references and 6 tables.) (Author/RT)
Descriptors: Educational Economics, Elementary Secondary Education, Foreign Countries, Political Attitudes, Politics of Education, Privatization, Voting
For full text: http://www.ncspe.org.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Columbia Univ., New York, NY. National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education.
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom