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Investing in education in Europe: evidence from a new survey of public opinion


Busemeyer, Marius R; Garritzmann, Julian L; Neimanns, Erik; Nezi, Roula (2018). Investing in education in Europe: evidence from a new survey of public opinion. Journal of European Social Policy, 28(1):34-54.

Abstract

Public opinion research has found that increasing the investment in education is generally very popular among citizens in Western Europe. However, this evidence from publicly available opinion surveys may be misleading, because these surveys do not force respondents to prioritize between different parts of the education system or between education and other social policies, nor do they provide information about citizens’ willingness to pay for additional investment in education. To address these deficiencies, we conducted an original, representative survey of public opinion on education and related policies in eight European countries. Our analysis confirms that citizens express high levels of support for education even when they are forced to choose between education and other areas of social spending. But not all educational sectors enjoy equally high levels of support: increasing spending on general schooling and vocational education is more popular than increasing spending on higher education and early childhood education. Furthermore, we find that citizens are, in fact, willing to pay additional taxes in order to finance investment in education, at least in some countries and for some sectors of the education system.

Abstract

Public opinion research has found that increasing the investment in education is generally very popular among citizens in Western Europe. However, this evidence from publicly available opinion surveys may be misleading, because these surveys do not force respondents to prioritize between different parts of the education system or between education and other social policies, nor do they provide information about citizens’ willingness to pay for additional investment in education. To address these deficiencies, we conducted an original, representative survey of public opinion on education and related policies in eight European countries. Our analysis confirms that citizens express high levels of support for education even when they are forced to choose between education and other areas of social spending. But not all educational sectors enjoy equally high levels of support: increasing spending on general schooling and vocational education is more popular than increasing spending on higher education and early childhood education. Furthermore, we find that citizens are, in fact, willing to pay additional taxes in order to finance investment in education, at least in some countries and for some sectors of the education system.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > General Social Sciences
Physical Sciences > Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
Uncontrolled Keywords:attitudes towards public spending, education, financing of social spending, INVEDUC survey, welfare state
Language:English
Date:February 2018
Deposited On:23 Apr 2018 13:44
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 07:11
Publisher:Sage Publications Ltd.
ISSN:0958-9287
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/0958928717700562

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