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The Externalities of Education - Essay Example

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Externalities are the side effects registering on an unrelated third party; occurring through any economic, social, political and educational activity, conducted by the producer or consumer (tutor2u, 2013). Externalities can be positive or negative depending upon the impact they…
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The Externalities of Public Education By: The Externalities of Public Education Externalities are the side effects registering on an unrelated third party; occurring through any economic, social, political and educational activity, conducted by the producer or consumer (tutor2u, 2013). Externalities can be positive or negative depending upon the impact they generate. Positive externalities are the social benefits and negative externalities are taken as social costs generated by the production or consumption activity (Tutor2u, 2013)
Public Education is widely known for generating externalities for the society, for it is a well founded belief that children who are educated in public schooling systems benefit the society (Friedman, 1993), in three forms; educated society, higher pays (Kling, 2008), and a diversity from socio-cultural aspects (Huylenbroeck, Vandermeule, Mettepenningen & Verspecht, 2007).
Public education contributes to an educated society on the whole. A person who is well educated learns virtues and values from his education, enabling him to be a better citizen of the society (Friedman, 1993), e.g. a student who is taught not to steal even if he may be hungry or poor, generates externalities for the society by preventing crime. An educated citizen is also a better voter which also inturn contributes to the society in turn (Friedman, 1993). They make communities safer and better place, more likely to make good decision when electing a leader, low crime rates and higher living standards.
Higher pays result from public schooling. Public schooling renders more children exposure and ability to educate themselves, provides opportunities to those who cannot afford education and propagates a system that results in closing the gap between rich and poor; thus contributing to higher indexes of education, leading to higher pay scales of public (Kling, 2008). The higher the pay scales, the better will be the ability of citizens to pay their taxes, expand businesses and hire more workers, thus contributing further to the society benefits.
Public schooling affords a socio-cultural diversity to the educated community. People from ethnic and neglected backgrounds gain a chance at educating themselves thus improving their circumstances (Huylenbroeck, et. al, 2007). The cultural and socio economic diversity at these schools makes them ideal for children to gain experience of living together with children of versatile communities; furthermore it allows children to develop cognitively, socio-emotionally, and character wise (teendiversophy, 2006).
Public and Private K-12 Education
Public K12 education based on the externalities it generates is far more favorable than the Private K12 educational system. The Public k12 schooling system with all its discrepancies allows room for the education of society at large. Private schools restrict the scope of the society becoming educated. In public schools the students have to learn by themselves (Stotsky, 2008), thus restricting their learning of ethics, virtues and values. Private K-12 schools since limit education to a select few also concentrate better and high pays to the already privileged. Public schools allow room for flexibility with their virtual and home schooling plans (Wisegeek, 2013).
Public schools afford the social and cultural diversity which lacks in public schools. While the students of public schools are learning to coexist with all the communities, and people from all sorts of backgrounds, the students of public schools are limited to their own and privileged community, since most people cannot afford sending their children to these schools.
Friedman, D. (1993). The Weak Case for Public Schooling [Electronic version]. Retrieved February 14, 2013, from
Huylenbroeck, G. V., Vandermeule, V., Mettepenningen, E. & Verspecht, A. (2007). Viewpoints and Definitions [Electronic version]. Retrieved February 14, 2013, from
Kling, A. (2008). Public Goods, Externalities, and Education [Electronic version]. Retrieved February 14, 2013, from
Teendiversophy. (2013). Helping Teachers & Teens Thrive In Our Culturally Diverse World [Electronic version]. Retrieved February 14, 2013, from
Tutor2u. (2013). What are Externalities? [Electronic version]. Retrieved November 9, 2011, from
Stotsky, S. (2008). The negative influence of education schools on the k-12 curriculum. Masters thesis, National Association of Scholars [Electronic version]. Retrieved February 14, 2013, from
Wisegeek. (2013). Public School [Electronic version]. Retrieved February 14, 2013, from Read More
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