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The fact that increased financial resources have not brought greater measurable gains in student performance has led some education experts to question whether the problems may be due to structure, not just to the resources spent.

Other government programs seek to increase human capital either before or after the K–12 education system. Programs for early childhood education, like the federal Head Start program    , are directed at families where the parents may have limited educational and financial resources. Government also offers substantial support for universities and colleges. For example, in the United States about 60% of students take at least a few college or university classes beyond the high school level. In Germany and Japan, about half of all students take classes beyond the comparable high school level. In the countries of Latin America, only about one student in four takes classes beyond the high school level, and in the nations of sub-Saharan Africa, only about one student in 20.

Not all spending on educational human capital    needs to happen through the government: many college students in the United States pay a substantial share of the cost of their education. If low-income countries of the world are going to experience a widespread increase in their education levels for grade-school children, government spending seems likely to play a substantial role. For the U.S. economy, and for other high-income countries, the primary focus at this time is more on how to get a bigger return from existing spending on education and how to improve the performance of the average high school graduate, rather than dramatic increases in education spending.

How fiscal policy can improve technology

Research and development (R&D) efforts are the lifeblood of new technology. According to the National Science Foundation, federal outlays for research, development, and physical plant improvements to various governmental agencies have remained at an average of 8.8% of GDP. About one-fifth of U.S. R&D spending goes to defense and space-oriented research. Although defense-oriented R&D spending may sometimes produce consumer-oriented spinoffs, R&D that is aimed at producing new weapons is less likely to benefit the civilian economy than direct civilian R&D spending.

Fiscal policy can encourage R&D using either direct spending or tax policy. Government could spend more on the R&D that is carried out in government laboratories, as well as expanding federal R&D grants to universities and colleges, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector. By 2014, the federal share of R&D outlays totaled $135.5 billion, or about 4% of the federal government's total budget outlays, according to data from the National Science Foundation. Fiscal policy can also support R&D through tax incentives, which allow firms to reduce their tax bill as they increase spending on research and development.

Summary of fiscal policy, investment, and economic growth

Investment in physical capital, human capital, and new technology is essential for long-term economic growth, as summarized in [link] . In a market-oriented economy, private firms will undertake most of the investment in physical capital, and fiscal policy should seek to avoid a long series of outsized budget deficits that might crowd out such investment. The effects of many growth-oriented policies will be seen very gradually over time, as students are better educated, physical capital investments are made, and new technologies are invented and implemented.

Investment role of public and private sector in a market economy
Physical Capital Human Capital New Technology
Private Sector New investment in property and equipment On-the-job training Research and development
Public Sector Public infrastructure Public education Job training Research and development encouraged through private sector incentives and direct spending.

Key concepts and summary

Economic growth comes from a combination of investment in physical capital, human capital, and technology. Government borrowing can crowd out private sector investment in physical capital, but fiscal policy can also increase investment in publicly owned physical capital, human capital (education), and research and development. Possible methods for improving education and society’s investment in human capital include spending more money on teachers and other educational resources, and reorganizing the education system to provide greater incentives for success. Methods for increasing research and development spending to generate new technology include direct government spending on R&D and tax incentives for businesses to conduct additional R&D.

Problems

During the most recent recession, some economists argued that the change in the interest rates that comes about due to deficit spending implied in the demand and supply of financial capital graph would not occur. A simple reason was that the government was stepping in to invest when private firms were not. Using a graph, explain how the deficit demand is offset by the use by government in investment.

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References

U.S. Department of Commerce: Bureau of Economic Analysis. “National Data: National Income and Product Accounts Tables.” Accessed December 1, 2013. http://www.bea.gov/iTable/iTable.cfm?ReqID=9&step=1#reqid=9&step=3&isuri=1&910=X&911=0&903=146&904=2008&905=2013&906=A.

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, “Selected Interest Rates (Daily) – H.15.” Accessed December 10, 2013. http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/h15/data.htm.

The White House. “Fiscal Year 2013 Historical Tables: Budget of the U.S. Government.” Accessed December 12, 2013. http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2013/assets/hist.pdf.

The National Science Foundation. Accessed December 19, 2013. http://www.nsf.gov/.

Questions & Answers

price elasticity of demand is the degree of responsiveness of a quantity demanded to the change in price of the commodity in question.
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It's one of the two branches of Economics that deal with the aggregate economy.
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microeconomics focuses on the action of individual agents in the economy such as businesses, workers and household. while macroeconomics looks at the economy as a whole. it focuses on broad issues in the economy such as government deficit, economy growth, levels of exports and imports, and
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Source:  OpenStax, Principles of economics. OpenStax CNX. Sep 19, 2014 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11613/1.11
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