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Ms. Eva Jenkner and Mr. Arye L. Hillman

. A government can oblige parents to pay compulsory school fees to finance the basic education of their children. In that case, if both user payments and the education itself are compulsory, then schooling is tax financed, according to a benefit principle. Alternatively, user payments can be voluntary, with noncompulsory school attendance and children being barred from school if the user payments are not made. Since payment is voluntary, such user payments are then user fees rather than taxes that reflect compulsory payment. 2 Whether compulsory or voluntary

Ms. Eva Jenkner and Mr. Arye L. Hillman
Insufficient resources and inadequate public expenditure management often prevent governments in low-income countries from providing quality basic education free of charge. User payments by parents are an alternative means of financing basic education. This paper assesses how user payments affect educational opportunities and quality of education for children of poor families in low-income countries. Conditions are identified under which user payments can or cannot improve educational outcomes. User payments, whether taking the form of compulsory benefit taxation or voluntary user fees, are a temporary solution and second-best compared with free-access, publicly financed quality education that is consistent with macroeconomic stability.
Mr. Arye L. Hillman

. Ideally, therefore, all children should have access to free-access, publicly financed, quality schools. 1 Yet, in many poor countries, education of children is not free; rather, parents pay fees or user payments for the education of their children. The user payments in some cases supplement public spending on schools. In other cases, where no public financing is available, user payments self-finance community schools that are organized and funded by communities and parents independently of government. User payments can be voluntary or compulsory, and can take

Ms. Eva Jenkner and Mr. Arye L. Hillman

Abstract

In an ideal world, primary education would be universal and publicly financed, and all children would be able to attend school regardless of their parents’ ability or willingness to pay. In many poor countries, however, governments lack either the financial resources or the political will to provide each child with a basic education, despite the benefits that would accrue not only to individuals but to society as a whole. In some of these countries, parents cover part or all of the cost of their children’s education. This paper explores the pros and cons of user payments.

Ms. Eva Jenkner and Mr. Arye L. Hillman

Abstract

In an ideal world, primary education would be universal and publicly financed, and all children would be able to attend school regardless of their parents’ ability or willingness to pay. In many poor countries, however, governments lack either the financial resources or the political will to provide each child with a basic education, despite the benefits that would accrue not only to individuals but to society as a whole. In some of these countries, parents cover part or all of the cost of their children’s education. This paper explores the pros and cons of user payments.

Ms. Eva Jenkner and Mr. Arye L. Hillman

Abstract

In an ideal world, primary education would be universal and publicly financed, and all children would be able to attend school regardless of their parents’ ability or willingness to pay. In many poor countries, however, governments lack either the financial resources or the political will to provide each child with a basic education, despite the benefits that would accrue not only to individuals but to society as a whole. In some of these countries, parents cover part or all of the cost of their children’s education. This paper explores the pros and cons of user payments.

Ms. Eva Jenkner and Mr. Arye L. Hillman

Front Matter Page Fiscal Affairs Department Authorized for distribution by Sanjeev Gupta Contents I. Introduction II. Schooling in Low-Income Countries A. School Enrollment B. Influences on the Demand for Schooling C. Supply-Side Influences D. Conditions Determining Whether User Payments Can Increase Enrollment III. Why User Payments May Be Undesirable A. Regressive Taxes B. Voluntary User Payments and Demand C. Exclusion D. Self-Financing User Payments May Not Exist E. Special Education F. User Payments as Preempting

Ms. Eva Jenkner and Mr. Arye L. Hillman

Abstract

In an ideal world, primary education would be universal and publicly financed, and all children would be able to attend school regardless of their parents’ ability or willingness to pay. In many poor countries, however, governments lack either the financial resources or the political will to provide each child with a basic education, despite the benefits that would accrue not only to individuals but to society as a whole. In some of these countries, parents cover part or all of the cost of their children’s education. This paper explores the pros and cons of user payments.