Occasional Papers

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The Education Monopoly Problem

Edwin G. West | OP26 | 12 December 1989

op-26Professor Edwin West has for many years been a leading authority on, and advocate of, choice and competition in education. In this Occasional Paper, he explores the various mechanisms that have evolved in several countries for enhancing choice both within state school systems and between state and private schools. His own preference is for the educational voucher system, and he notes that the subsidies paid by the Australian federal government to private schools represents a limited de facto voucher scheme. He also links Japan’s strikingly successful education system to the high level of subsidy paid to private schools, which are chosen by nearly half the urban population.

The publication also includes the commentaries, both critical and favourable, on Professor West’s paper given at seminars in Sydney and Wellington in April 1989, along with his response to them. Whether or not Professor West’s advocacy of the voucher system is successful, it will play a major role in the coming debate in Australia and New Zealand on how to inject more choice and competition into the education system.