Education: Market failure and Government Intervention

A synopsis/review of Education: Market failure and government intervention by Carol Newman and John O’Hagan in The Economy of Ireland: National and Sectoral Policy Issues (10th edition)’.


A key assumption for the policy maker in education is that education equips individuals with the necessary skills and knowledge to participate in the society-economy. The role of government is to ensure that education provision occurs in an equitable and efficient way. This may occur through direct provision or regulation of private provision. Education in Ireland is predominately publicly provided. Unlike many other countries Irelands pre-primary level is primarily privately funded.

In 2006 there were:

3,160 primary schools

735 secondary schools

44 third level institutes (seven universities and thirteen IT’s)

In total 23 per cent of the total population are in education. The numbers in primary level have increased from by 5 per cent from 2002, whilst those at third level increased by 20 per cent since 2001 (mainly into the IT sector).

In 2004, expenditure on education as a percentage of GNI was 5.4 per cent, down from 6.4 per cent in 1995. Reductions in education expenditure occur in all OECD countries when demand for education falls (i.e. demographic reasons).

Education expenditure accounted for 14 per cent of total government expenditure in 2004, up from 12.2 per cent in 1995. In all countries in the OECD the highest spend per student is at third level. Ireland lags behind the EU and OECD average on spend per student at primary and secondary level. It is at the OECD average for third-level spend per student but below the EU average.

The synopsis is continued here:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s