User Payments for Basic Education in Low-Income Countries

33 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2006

See all articles by Arye L. Hillman

Arye L. Hillman

Bar-Ilan University - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

E. Jenkner

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Date Written: November 2002


Insufficient resources and inadequate public expenditure management often prevent governments in low-income countries from providing quality basic education free of charge. User payments by parents are an alternative means of financing basic education. This paper assesses how user payments affect educational opportunities and quality of education for children of poor families in low-income countries. Conditions are identified under which user payments can or cannot improve educational outcomes. User payments, whether taking the form of compulsory benefit taxation or voluntary user fees, are a temporary solution and second-best compared with free-access, publicly financed quality education that is consistent with macroeconomic stability.

Keywords: Government expenditure and education, education

JEL Classification: H52, I22

Suggested Citation

Hillman, Arye L. and Jenkner, Eva, User Payments for Basic Education in Low-Income Countries (November 2002). IMF Working Paper No. 02/182, Available at SSRN:

Arye L. Hillman (Contact Author)

Bar-Ilan University - Department of Economics ( email )

Ramat-Gan, 52900
+97 29 774 6424 (Phone)
+97 29 771 5628 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

United Kingdom

Eva Jenkner

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street NW
Washington, DC 20431
United States

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