Details
Study title
Public opinion on education in Switzerland
Ref study 10677
Study language English
Contributing institutions
Authors
Keywords
  • Education
  • Opinion
  • Age
  • Survey
  • Demographics
  • Empirical
Disciplines
Period
2007
Geographical space
Switzerland
Country
  • Switzerland
Abstract
The demographic ageing process in most industrialized countries will reverse the demographic pyramid within the next decades. While the fraction of young people in education will decrease, the fraction of people over the retirement age will almost double within the next forty years. Research in some countries has analyzed the effects these demographic changes will have on educational spending. For Switzerland there is evidence, that per-pupil spending declined significantly in response to the rise of the share of retired people. The existing body of empirical research has so far - with a few exceptions - analyzed the relationship between demographic change and educational spending with cross-sectional or panel analyses of educational spending. Although most results show a negative correlation between the share of elderly in the population and educational spending per pupil, these papers - due to the level of aggregation of the data and the limited number of observable characteristics - do not allow establishing a direct proof that the elderly are less inclined to spend money on education. Therefore, not surprisingly these findings have been challenged by a number of empirical and theoretical papers This study reassesses the question of an intergenerational conflict over educational spending by directly looking at the expressed differences in the preferences for public spending of Swiss voters. The data-set has been expressively made for the purpose of this analysis and simulates public votes on educational and public finance issues. The professional survey institute "Gesellschaft für praktische Sozialforschung" (GfS) was comissioned to collect data from a representative sample of Swiss citizens. The sample contains the data of 2025 Swiss citizens over the age of 25. The data was collected in May 2007 using Computed Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI). The interviews were held in German, French or Italian depending on the language region. Apart from individual socio-economic and family characteristics, respondents were asked to express their opinion on a series of question concerning education and education financing.
Results
The analysis shows that elderly people show a clear tendency to be less willing to spend money on education. They rather prefer to spend public resources on health and social security than on education. Furthermore the paper shows that much of the negative correlation between the shares of elderly and educational spending is the result of the elderly being politically more conservative and in general less inclined to pay for expenditures in the public sector as a whole.
Methods (description)
To analyze this issue we use multivariate regression. The professional survey institute "Gesellschaft für praktische Sozialforschung" (GfS) was comissioned to collect data from a representative sample of Swiss citizens. The sample contains the data of 2025 Swiss citizens over the age of 25. The data was collected in May 2007 using Computed Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI). The interviews were held in German, French or Italian depending on the language region. Apart from individual socio-economic and family characteristics, respondents were asked to express their opinion on a series of question concerning education and education financing.
Erhebungsverfahren: Inhaltsanalyse standardisiert, Akten- und Dokumentenanalyse standardisiert, Standardisierte Befragung telefonisch, Sekundäranalyse von Individualdaten
Erhebungseinheiten: Individuals
Auswahlverfahren: Random
Anzahl Untersuchungseinheiten: 2025
Untersuchungsdesign: Multivariate analysis
Durchführung der Feldarbeit: GfS Bern
Methods (instruments)
Publications
  • Busemeyer, Marius R.; Cattaneo, Maria Alejandra; Wolter, Stefan C.. 2011. Individual Policy Preferences for Vocational versus Academic Education. Micro Level Evidence for the Case of Switzerland. In: Journal of European Social Policy, July 2011, Vol. 21, No 3, 253-273 pp., doi:10.1177/0958928711401769. Online: http://esp.sagepub.com/content/21/3/253.full.pdf+html
  • Cattaneo, Maria Alejandra; Wolter, Stefan C.. 2009. Are the elderly a threat to educational expenditures?. In: European Journal of Political Economy, 25 (2), pp. 225-236. Online: http://www.dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2008.10.002
Financed by
Study type
Data availability
Source (Updates) Web
Date created 18.07.2013
Date modified 18.07.2013
Start - End date 01.05.2007 - 28.03.2011