A comparative analysis of education costs and outcomes: The United States vs. other OECD countries

Edward N. Wolff, William J. Baumol, Anne Noyes Saini

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    In this paper we confirm the universality of steadily rising education expenditures among OECD nations, as predicted by "Baumol and Bowen's cost disease", and show that this trajectory of costs can be expected to continue for the foreseeable future. However, we find that while the level of education costs in America is significantly higher than that of all other OECD countries, education spending per student in the United States is increasing about as quickly as it is in many other countries-perhaps even less quickly. Although these cost increases undoubtedly will contribute to each nation's fiscal problems, we conclude that effective education contributes to improvement of the economic performance of each country and can mitigate resulting financial pressures by spurring growth in overall purchasing power.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1-21
    Number of pages21
    JournalEconomics of Education Review
    StatePublished - Apr 1 2014



    • Cost disease
    • Costs
    • Education
    • International comparison
    • Productivity

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Education
    • Economics and Econometrics

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