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If You Pay Peanuts, You Get Monkeys? Education Spending and Schooling Quality in the Philippines


Cross-country comparison of education financing is often limited to public sector spending, which only provides a partial view of the global education financing landscape. Using recent National Transfer Accounts estimates of public and private education consumption for 74 economies around the world, we uncovered important trends in education financing in the Philippines and benchmarked its performance against its peers. Based on a synthetic measure of basic education consumption, we showed that education spending per person in the country has grown robustly over the past 25 years, even surpassing the growth in per capita income. Despite this feat, the Philippines’ education spending levels trail behind its regional and aspirational peers, which contributes to its poor performance in international standardized student assessments. While such is the case, there may still be opportunities to improve schooling quality by identifying and scaling cost-effective education interventions that better translate resource inputs to desired education outcomes.

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