Research Paper

Universal Basic and Secondary Education

Joel E. Cohen, David E. Bloom, Helen Anne Curry, and Martin B. Malin
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Over the past century, three approaches have been advocated to escape the consequences of widespread poverty, rapid population growth, environmental problems, and social injustices. The bigger pie approach says: use technology to produce more and to alleviate shortages. The fewer forks approach says: make contraception and reproductive health care available to eliminate unwanted fertility and to slow population growth. The better manners approach says: eliminate violence and corruption; improve the operation of markets and government provision of public goods; reduce the unwanted aftereffects of consumption; and achieve greater social and political equity between young and old, male and female, rich and poor. Providing all the world’s children with the equivalent of a high-quality primary and secondary education, whether through formal schooling or by alternative means, could, in principle, support all three of these approaches.

American Academy of Arts & Sciences

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