Partisan Politics and Public Investment in Education: A Regional Level Analysis of Education Spending in 15 OECD Countries

Thursday, July 13, 2017
Anatomy - Large LT (University of Glasgow)
Julian Garritzmann , Public Policy and Public Administration, University Konstanz, Germany
Hanna Kleider , Department of International Affairs (SPIA), University of Georgia
Leonce Röth , Cologne Center for Comparative Politics, Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences, University of Cologne
This study uses subnational data across 15 countries to examine the factors that drive public investment in education. Existing cross-national research on this theme has almost exclusively focused on the national education policy. Yet, in many countries authority over education policy lies with subnational governments, so that national approaches fail to account for much of the variation in educational investment. Moving beyond the national focus of previous research, we draw on a novel panel dataset that compiles data on education spending at the level of 245 subnational regions in 15 OECD countries over 20 years. Regional GDP per capita and regional demographic factors explain an important share of regional variation in education finding. We further find that a regional government’s partisan composition influences educational investment, with left-leaning governments being significantly more generous.