June 1, 2008

One more brief item on health care and education

I need to return to editing an accepted manuscript for publication, but just one more brief entry on Peter Orszag and health care economics. I haven't yet commented on Corey Bower's blog entries earlier this spring on one way of seeing flat spending on education (per-pupil spending as % of GDP) and the degree to which education is treated as essential or a luxury, but I thought the point was original. (I'm not certain his measure is appropriate—why is per-pupil spending being compared to GDP instead of per-population spending? But the idea is certainly intriguing.) When education spending is discussed, it's usually in isolation as a time series, not in comparison to the economy as a whole or to other sectors such as health care.

I suppose I could cherry-pick spending in various non-education areas and argue that there are clearly areas where society is spending an increasing amount of money with relatively little to show for it, as is the occasional rant about schooling. But such cherry-picking would be polemical rather than analytical. The larger point is that such arguments about education are taken out of context.

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Posted in Education policy on June 1, 2008 2:10 PM |