Institute of public finance
Public Sector Economics Journal
Public Sector Economics
2024 Conference


The last decades have witnessed a convergence of views on the importance of education for the lifelong well-being of individuals and for the quality of economic and social development in general. The significance of education is enshrined in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and has been reinforced in recent strategic documents agreed at the global level, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4), which emphasises the need to ensure inclusive, equitable and high-quality education as well as to promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. 

Yet despite the consensus on the importance of education, progress in enhancing educational achievements and implementing reforms to facilitate them remains slow, not only in developing and emerging market economies but also in many advanced economies. The COVID-19 pandemic may have dealt a further setback, with only one in six countries expected to achieve SDG4 by 2030 without additional measures. One worrying development is that government expenditure on education has remained stagnant or declined globally over the past decade. Another is that challenges such as the lack of competent teachers, high drop-out rates, the limited extent of early childhood education and care, and skill mismatches in labour markets have intensified in recent years.

To further our understanding of these issues, the Institute of Public Finance and the Faculty of Economics & Business are organising the conference New developments in the economics of education in Zagreb, Croatia, on September 23, 2024. The conference will aim to explore emerging trends and innovative approaches at the intersection of economics and education. We invite submissions of critical reviews, theoretical, analytical, policy, methodological and empirical studies on various aspects of the economics of education.  We encourage the submission of papers reflecting the concerns of various disciplines, such as education, economics, finance, sociology and political science.  

The conference will feature invited keynote presentations and a panel of experts on the economics of education. Relevant topics include but are not limited to:
  • Benefits of investing in early childhood education and care; reasons for limited progress
  • Latest trends in vocational education and training 
  • Advances in measuring school effectiveness / school resources and educational outcomes
  • Recent evidence on private and social returns to investment in education, academic achievement and earnings
  • Teacher shortages – causes and remedies
  • Education and skill mismatches in labour markets 
  • Pandemic learning losses and recoveries 
  • Bologna Process and European higher education – achievements and disappointments
  • Innovative solutions for financing education at different levels
  • New evidence on links between education and inequality/poverty
  • New evidence on education and economic growth
  • Digital transformation in education – progress and limitations
  • Lifelong learning and economic development.

Keynote speakers

Daniele Checchi, University of Milan, Italy

Daniele Checchi is a Professor of Economics at the University of Milan (Italy). His research interests encompass the economics of education, intergenerational mobility, labour market institutions, and union density. He earned his PhD from the University of Siena in 1987. He studied Economics at Bocconi University in Milan and the LSE, where he received his master's degree. Prof. Checchi has contributed significantly to academia, having worked and taught at the University of Brescia and the University of Milano-Bicocca. Additionally, he has held visiting positions at Universiteit Maastricht, Université Catholique de Louvain, Universidad Autónoma Barcelona, Boston College, University of York, University of Leicester, and University College Dublin.

Harry Anthony Patrinos, World Bank, Washington DC, USA

Harry Anthony Patrinos is the Senior Adviser, Education, at the World Bank. He specializes in the economics of education, especially school-based management, demand-side financing, and public-private partnerships. Previously, he worked in the Office of the Chief Economist for Europe and Central Asia. He managed education teams in Europe and Central Asia, East Asia and the Pacific, Middle East and North Africa, and the Global Unit. He led lending operations and analytical work programs in Latin America. He co-led the development of the Harmonized Learning Outcomes database, part of the Human Capital Index, published in Nature. He has studied and worked extensively on the socioeconomic status of Indigenous Peoples. He has many publications in the academic and policy literature, with more than 50 journal articles. He previously worked as an economist at the Economic Council of Canada. Mr. Patrinos received a doctorate from the University of Sussex.










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