The answer to who pays for higher education depends largely on how society views the benefits. In the United States and Japan university education is viewed as a private good. In those countries student fees can be very high, and are paid either by the students themselves or by their parents and families. In most Euopean countries they believe higher education is a social good, like clean water or paved roads, so they make it free for everyone, paid for by high progressive taxes. For people from disadvantaged social backgrounds, who may be nervous about accumulating high levels of personal debt, this approach eliminates the risk factor. Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden currently do not charge any fees for university education. Germany even pays students a kind of rent for studying (Bafög).