Title: Equity in the distribution of government subsidies on education in India

Authors: P. Geetha Rani

Addresses: National University of Educational Planning and Administration, New Delhi, 110 016, India

Abstract: From the public policy point of view, who benefits from the government spending on education across wealth groups is a central question. The present paper estimates how equally the public spending is distributed by levels of education across states in India, using the benefit incidence analysis. The distribution of government subsidy on elementary levels of education is clearly pro-poor. But the post elementary levels of education do not benefit each income group equally let alone progressively. The 'seemingly' benefit that goes to the poor at elementary levels of education dissipate as they move into higher levels of education given the poor quality of government provided elementary education in the country. The underpinning policy suggested therefore is a two-pronged strategy of ensuring the quality of learning outcomes among government funded schools and differential user fees at higher levels of education.

Keywords: government subsidies; unit cost; benefit incidence; expenditure groups; education spending; equity; educational subsidies; public policy; public spending; India; income groups; learning outcomes; differential fees.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEED.2014.059862

International Journal of Education Economics and Development, 2014 Vol.5 No.1, pp.1 - 39

Received: 11 May 2013
Accepted: 10 Sep 2013

Published online: 17 Mar 2014 *

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