One goal of German politics is to increase public expenditures for education and research up to a share of 10% of German GDP. From the perspective of rational fiscal policy, public expenditures for education should be implemented efficiently. When allocating scarce public funds one has to judge, therefore, in which stage of the life cycle public incentives generate the strongest impact on education. Moreover, politics has to decide whether it wants to promote education by fiscal incentives or by direct subsidies and at which stage of the life cycle it employs the various instruments. This project aims at developing strategies which help to realize these fiscal and educational goals. In summary, the following questions will be investigated: - To which extent are private and public expenditures used for educational purposes across the life cycle in various industrialized countries? What is the mix of private and public expenditures? Which instruments are chosen as public incentives? - How does the choice of instruments relate to the educational success of a certain country? - How do public and private expenditures for education interact? Is there a crowding-out of private expenditures when public funds are increased? Under which circumstances do individuals really choose to invest more in their education? - Considering these findings, how could the approach of financing education in Germany be advanced?