The paper "Economic Implications of Free University Education" is a wonderful example of a report on macro and microeconomics. Education has long been regarded as key to the success of any individual in the society. Similarly, it has been noted that an educated society performs better in terms of development compared to a society where people are illiterate. However, because society do not always understand the benefits of education until one succeeds by getting a good job and earn a good salary, education ranks among the merit goods. Merit goods are a concept that was introduced by Richard Musgrave in 1957 (Samuels 2013, p.
7). Samuels (2013, p. 7) defines merit good as those goods or services that the government believes to be important to the society, but that people can under-consume, therefore, needs to be provided free or subsidized at the point of use to ensure that their consumptions of these goods or services do not depend on an individual’ s ability to pay. Education is classified as a merit good because, despite its importance to an individual and the society, it might be under-consumed if the ability of an individual to get an education is left to depend on the ability of an individual to pay.
Therefore, because education is a merit good, there are those who have been strongly advocating the provision of free university education to ensure that all Americans regardless of their socioeconomic status. Those who advocate the provision of free university education believe that making such a move will be of immense benefit to the development of the American economy. Nevertheless, some economists have strongly opposed the idea of providing free university education, arguing that it is not good for the U. S.
economy. This paper will discuss the economic implications of providing free university education at the point of use. Almost all developed countries and many developing countries currently offer free primary and secondary school education (Clawson and Page 2012, p. 17). The United States is an example of countries where students enjoy free primary and secondary education. In fact, there has been no controversy about the provision of free primary and secondary education as both the conservatives and the liberals around the world appear to agree that free primary and secondary education is a right.
By contrast, things are always different when it comes to university education, where there is a wide difference between nations as regards their policies.
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Clawson, D., & Page, M 2012, The future of higher education. Routledge, London.
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Iacobucci, F., & Tuohy, C. J 2005, Taking public universities seriously. University of Toronto Press, Toronto.
McMahon, W. W 2010, Higher learning, greater good: The private and social benefits of higher education. JHU Press, London.
Pirie, M 2015, Economic nonsense: 47. The state should pay for university education because it benefits society 14 April 2015, viewed 22 June 2015 http://www.adamsmith.org/blog/economics/economic-nonsense-47-the-state-should-pay-for-university-education-because-it-benefits-society/
Samuels, B 2011, Why all public higher education should be free, The Huffington Post 18 November, viewed 22 June 2015 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bob-samuels/why-all-public-higher-edu_b_1099437.html
Samuels, R 2013, Why public higher education should be free: How to decrease cost and increase quality at American universities. Rutgers University Press, New York.