Policy implications

Giorgia Brunello, Pietro Garibaldi, Etienne Wasmer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter examines a few policy implications with respect to education and skills in Europe. Education systems in Europe have done a good job at supplying basic skills, thus suggesting that primary and secondary schooling in Europe functions relatively well. In contrast, where tertiary education is concerned, both enrolment and funding are substantially lower in Europe than in the US. The share of GDP devoted to higher education is three times less (2 percentage points lower) in Europe than in the US. One of the highest priorities should be to reduce this gap. There are three possibilities for this objective to be achieved. The first one is to re-allocate public spending away from secondary to tertiary education. However, this may not be desirable, given the evidence that well-financed secondary education may be one reason why Europe has experienced less inequality than the US. A second option is to raise the level of public deficit and public debt in order to increase spending on higher education. This is as unrealistic and undesirable as the first option: European countries already face tensions to increase finance for their social security (health and pensions), and are bound to a large extent by the Stability and Growth Pact. The third option is to open the doors to the possibility that private money should finance part of the education system. This could come partly from household money, by raising university fees by moderate amounts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEducation and Training in Europe
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191705786
ISBN (Print)9780199210978
StatePublished - May 17 2007


  • Educational funding
  • Educational policy
  • Educational reforms
  • European education
  • Higher education
  • Labour market
  • Public spending

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


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