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Social democrats and the new partisan politics of public investment in education

Social democrats and the new partisan politics of public investment in education This paper studies the impact on public education spending of social democratic participation in government. By means of a pooled time-series analysis of spending in OECD democracies, it is shown that social democrats have increased public spending primarily on higher education. This finding is at odds with simple class-based models of partisan preferences (Boix) that predict a preference for non-tertiary education. As an alternative, the notion of a ‘new politics of public investment in education’ (Iversen) is presented. From this perspective, political parties are not merely transmission belts for the economic interests of social classes, but use policies and spending strategically to attract and consolidate voter groups. By increasing public investment in tertiary education, social democrats cater to their core electoral constituencies (for example, by expanding enrolment) and, at the same time, new middle-class constituencies to escape electoral dilemmas and reforge the cross-class alliance with the middle class. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of European Public Policy Taylor & Francis

Social democrats and the new partisan politics of public investment in education

Journal of European Public Policy , Volume 16 (1): 20 – Jan 1, 2009
20 pages

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References (66)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
1466-4429
eISSN
1350-1763
DOI
10.1080/13501760802453171
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper studies the impact on public education spending of social democratic participation in government. By means of a pooled time-series analysis of spending in OECD democracies, it is shown that social democrats have increased public spending primarily on higher education. This finding is at odds with simple class-based models of partisan preferences (Boix) that predict a preference for non-tertiary education. As an alternative, the notion of a ‘new politics of public investment in education’ (Iversen) is presented. From this perspective, political parties are not merely transmission belts for the economic interests of social classes, but use policies and spending strategically to attract and consolidate voter groups. By increasing public investment in tertiary education, social democrats cater to their core electoral constituencies (for example, by expanding enrolment) and, at the same time, new middle-class constituencies to escape electoral dilemmas and reforge the cross-class alliance with the middle class.

Journal

Journal of European Public PolicyTaylor & Francis

Published: Jan 1, 2009

Keywords: Education; higher education; OECD countries; pooled time-series analysis; public spending; social democratic parties

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