|• What is the efficient level of spending on education?|
|• What is the efficient level of taxpayer subsidy?|
This paper argues that these questions - though critically important - can be answered, at best, only indicatively.
The conclusion of a very different literature (Sen, 1999; Barr, 1999; Ravallion, 1996) is that it is not possible to quantify a value-free definition of poverty. Instead, the decision about where to pitch the level of poverty relief depends on social choice constrained by fiscal realities. This does not mean that there should be no poverty studies, but that judgement is needed in interpreting any particular set of results. I shall argue that problems - both of concept and measurement - mean that the benefits to education,