Aukštojo mokslo ekonomika Lietuvos pavyzdžiu

Mokslo publikacijos / Scientific publications
Document Type:
Knygos dalis / Part of the book
Lietuvių kalba / Lithuanian
Aukštojo mokslo ekonomika Lietuvos pavyzdžiu
Alternative Title:
Higher education economics using Lithuania’s example
In the Book:
Reforma Lietuvoje : įžvalgos apie mokslo ir studijų pertvarką. Vilnius: Alma littera, 2014. P. 241-256, 272-273
Reikšminiai žodžiai: Aukštasis mokslas; Aukštojo mokslo ekonomika; Aukštojo mokslo reforma; Aukštojo mokslo sistema; Ekonomikos sektoriai; Lietuvos pavyzdys; Economic sectors; Higher Education; Higher Education Reform; Higher Education System; Higher education economics; Lithuania; Lithuanian example.
Aukštasis mokslas. Studijos / Higher education. Study; pavyzdys.
Economic sectors; Lithuanian example.
Summary / Abstract:

ENIn the article the author discusses the fundamentals of the economics of higher education (HE), using Lithuania’s rather specific case as an example. The author claims that the country for more than a decade has been suffering from “fiscal identity crisis” - a major mismatch between a) the relatively broad list of economic functions the government undertook to perform, and b) the financing needs of these areas. Indeed, Lithuania currently has the lowest tax-receipts-to-GDP ratio in the EU, which is not compatible with its development level. Many economic sectors, which the government had underfinanced, found new, in many respects worse equilibria. For example, the share of unofficial and regressive out-of-pocket health expenditures are approaching almost a half of the whole budget of the health care sector, pension spending as a percentage of GDP is almost two times lower than the EU average, which exposes a large part of the population to unnecessary high levels of poverty, and inequality, etc. In its search of more adequate funding the HE sector also drifted into the unwelcome direction of converting the HE institutions into “universities”, increasing the number of students and (unavoidably) lowering standards. Merely narrowing the financing gap would not help, because the sector is likely to suffer from the hysteresis (path dependency) problem: higher wages for lecturers do not guarantee neither the replacement of the old unenthusiastic staff, nor quality improvement.The status quo of high demand and supply of low quality diplomas, which have been losing their “signal strength” in the labor market, is detrimental to the welfare of the society. That is why a more ambitious reform package is needed, possibly culminating in the privatization of the sector. The HE is not a public good, therefore the policy makers have to prove why the sector should remain in the hands of the government. The traditional excuses like positive externalities of the HE, capital market (students’ loans) problems, information problems should be addressed directly, for example, by providing subsidies to private universities in the form of education vouchers, which are currently used as a means to finance the most capable students. This practice cannot be justified on the grounds of fairness - why should the government pay for the education of the best students, as they will get a large reward from being educated in two forms: significantly lower probability of unemployment, and a substantial wage premium. That is why Lithuania should introduce the financing-cum- insurance model promoted by a well-known expert in the field, economist Nicholas Barr. The privatization of the HE sector could also solve a number of other problems: subsidizing the human capital formation of emigrants, and would circumvent the unwise constitutional clause, that the HE for the best students, studying in the public institutions, is “free”, or, in other words, poorer people also pay for it. [From the publication]

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2018-09-01 18:59:25
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