This article explores the value to households in different income groups of benefits from public spending on education, the National Health Service and subsidies to local authority housing. Its results are drawn from secondary analysis of the 1987 General Household Survey (GHS). The paper compares these findings with those which the Central Statistical Office (CSO, 1990) derived from the 1987 Family Expenditure Survey (ITS). As well as using the more detailed information given by the GHS on use of health services and higher education than by the FES, we also apply some different methodological approaches from the CSO, including the allocation of higher education for students living away from home to their households of origin and the use of estimates of ‘economic’ housing subsidies. The CSO’s results are summarised in Section 11, together with a discussion of some limitations of its approach, and the advantages (in some respects) of using GHS data. We present our main findings of distribution by income group in Section 111. A more detailed discussion of the results for the separate areas of education, the National Health Service and housing subsidies follows in Section IV. We summarise our results in Section V and make some suggestions for future work in this area. For a more detailed account of the findings, including an analysis of distribution by socio-economic group, see Evandrou et al. (1992)
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