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Demand for Education

Demand for education refers to a family’s willingness to pay for children to attend school and, in the aggregate, the number of school slots that would be purchased at any price. In many cases, demand determines whether children have access to education, and demand-side obstacles are often blamed for low enrollment. This entry describes theories of the demand for schooling, factors that influence demand, demand-side obstacles to access to education, and selected policy remedies.

Theories of Demand for Education

Human capital economists model investments in schooling as a function of supply and demand, similar to consumption of other goods and services. Supply depends on how much it costs to build and run a school. Demand depends on consumers’ willingness and ability to pay. In the case of ...

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