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The persistently increasing scale and complexity of government, of quasi- public organizations, and of private organizations pose many problems in the economics of collective choice. Moreover, education as a quasi-public good has drawn ever more heavily on public budgets. Yet economic research into collective behavior with respect to education has been sparse (with the partial exception of recent work on teacher unions). In view of these trends, it was decided that the third conference under the Ford-sponsored UK. jUS. Pro- gramme in the Economics of Education should make the high-risk effort of encouraging and bringing together studies relating to collective choice in education, with some emphasis on studies in educational finance. The con- ference exploited opportunities for an exchange of ideas between economists in the United Kingdom and in the United States; there were special gains that could come from such an interchange. British and American economists do share a common inheritance that goes back to Benthamite utilitarianism and a common training in neo-classical economic theory even when one or both of these is challenged (which happens, of course, on both sides of the Atlantic). They share also a culture of political democracy despite important dissimilar- ities in governmental structures and institutions. These commonalities and contrasts facilitate comparative testing of analyses developed in either setting.