Stephen Machin, Anna Vignoles
Princeton University Press (June 2005)
Volumes have been written about the value of more and better education. But is there sufficient evidence to support the commonly held belief that we as individuals and as a community should be investing more in education?
What's the Good of Education? The Economics of Education in the UK explores the question in unprecedented detail, drawing on empirical evidence from an impressive array of sources. While much of the focus is on the educational system in the United Kingdom, the book offers lessons of international applicability. A state-of-the-art compendium on education policy and its impact on educational attainment, the book examines numerous large scale data sources on individual pupils and schools.
The questions the book considers are far ranging. How much do teachers matter for children's educational attainment? What payoff do people get from acquiring more education when they enter the labour market? How well do education systems function to provide employers with the skills they want?
The book concludes by issuing some strong policy recommendations and offering an evaluation of what does and does not work in improving educational attainment. The recommendations address such issues as school effectiveness, education financing, individual investment in education, government education initiatives, higher education, labour market rewards and lifelong learning.
Stephen Machin is professor of economics at the University College London, research director of the the Centre for Economic Performance at LSE and director of LSE's Centre for the Economics of Education.
Anna Vignoles is senior lecturer at the Institute of Education and research associate at the Centre for Economic Performance at LSE.
For more information on this publication and to order the book from the publishers, visit http://www.pupress.princeton.edu/