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Education as Consumption

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Education as Consumption

As much as education can be seen as an investment (i.e. an exchange of current earnings with extra years of schooling in order to improve future lifetime earnings), education can also be seen as a good/service with consumption values.

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In the human capital framework (championed by economists like Gary Becker), education is viewed primarily as an investment in that individuals forgo current labor market earnings and incur direct costs in return for returns in the form of higher future wages. At the same time, the human capital framework does not rule out that education may also provide immediate consumption. Indeed, many economists have discussed the consumption value of education. (Jacob, McCall & Stange 2011, 2) For example, Oreopoulos and Salvanes (2011) highlight consumption considerations in their recent review of the non-pecuniary returns to education, and claim activities such as “participating in sports, socializing with others same age, and dating” demonstrate consumption benefits to education (Oreopoulos & Salvanes 2011, 17). For the most part, consumption aspects of education have received relatively small attention in the literature. 

References
Jacob, Brian, Brian McCall, and Kevin Stange. “The Consumption Value of Postsecondary Education” Working Paper. Accessed June 27, 2015, http://www.edpolicy.umich.edu/research/consumption-value-of-postsecondary-education/.

Oreopoulos, Philip, and Kjell G. Salvanes. “How large are returns to schooling? Hint: Money isn't everything.” National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper 15339. (2009): 1-48.

Page Created by: James Ban on 6 July 2015.


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