The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper develops a public education scheme that takes uncertainty aspects of private educational investments explicitly into account. In the author’s framework, the social merits of public education schemes are related to the lack of markets in which students can insure against educational risks. A case is made for tuition fees that depend on the expected returns of investments in education. The consideration of uncertainty provides a neglected link between educational choice, resource endowment, and productivity growth, which may serve to redefine the public role of education financing.