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Taxation and educational development: Evidence from British India

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  • Chaudhary, Latika

Abstract

This paper measures the effects of public expenditures on literacy in early 20th century British India. Using a new dataset and an instrumental variables strategy, I find that public investments in primary education had positive and statistically significant effects on literacy. A 10 percent increase in 1911 per-capita spending or 44 additional primary schools would have translated into a 2.6Â percentage point increase in 1921 literacy in the population aged 15-20. The findings, however, differ by gender: the IV estimates on spending are statistically significant only for male literacy. India's historical experience thus suggests that building more schools would not have solved the problem of female illiteracy that continues to persist even today.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Explorations in Economic History.

Volume (Year): 47 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 279-293

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Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:47:y:2010:i:3:p:279-293

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622830

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Keywords: Education Literacy Public goods Colonization India;

References

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  1. Geeta Gandhi Kingdon, 2007. "The progress of school education in India," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(2), pages 168-195, Summer.
  2. Hanushek, Eric A, 1986. "The Economics of Schooling: Production and Efficiency in Public Schools," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 1141-77, September.
  3. Angrist, Joshua D. & Krueger, Alan B., 1999. "Empirical strategies in labor economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 23, pages 1277-1366 Elsevier.
  4. Caroline M. Hoxby, 1998. "All School Finance Equalizations Are Not Created Equal," NBER Working Papers 6792, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Chaudhary, Latika, 2009. "Determinants of Primary Schooling in British India," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 69(01), pages 269-302, March.
  6. Abhijit Banerjee & Lakshmi Iyer, 2005. "History, Institutions, and Economic Performance: The Legacy of Colonial Land Tenure Systems in India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1190-1213, September.
  7. Abhijit Banerjee & Rohini Somanathan, 2004. "The political economy of public goods: Some evidence from India," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 04-17, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
  8. Broadberry, Stephen & Gupta, Bishnupriya, 2010. "The historical roots of India's service-led development: A sectoral analysis of Anglo-Indian productivity differences, 1870-2000," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 264-278, July.
  9. Jean Dreze & Geeta Gandhi Kingdon, 1999. "School Participation in Rural India," Working papers 69, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
  10. Esther Duflo, 2000. "Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment," NBER Working Papers 7860, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Paul Glewwe, 2002. "Schools and Skills in Developing Countries: Education Policies and Socioeconomic Outcomes," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 436-482, June.
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