Educational expenditures and student performance among OECD countries

Edward N. Wolff

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Using data on educational spending for 31 OECD countries over the years 1988-2008 by level and type of expenditure, I first re-examine the so-called cost disease model on the basis of a new formulation of the model and, in so doing, provide a new implicit price deflator for educational expenditures. The cost disease effect in education is estimated to be one to two percentage points per year relative to constant prices based on the GDP deflator. Next, unlike many previous studies, I do find a positive and significant effect of secondary educational spending deflated using the traditional GDP deflator on both PISA math scores and literacy scores (both significant at the one percent level). Primary school spending is also a significant factor in explaining PISA literacy scores on the secondary school level. Somewhat surprisingly, the econometric results are weaker on the basis of the "corrected" educational deflator.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)37-57
    Number of pages21
    JournalStructural Change and Economic Dynamics
    StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


    • Educational expenditures
    • International comparisons
    • Productivity

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Economics and Econometrics


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