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Historical Origins of Schooling: The Role of Democracy and Political Decentralization

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  • Francisco A. Gallego

    (Department of Economics and Economic History and Cliometrics Laboratory, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)

Abstract

Why does schooling attainment vary widely across countries? Why are differences in schooling attainment highly persistent? I show that cross-country differences in schooling are related to political institutions, such as democracy and local democracy (political decentralization), which are affected by colonial factors. By using the number of native cultures before colonization as an instrument for political decentralization, I show that after controlling for the causal effect of income on schooling, the degree of democratization positively affects the development of primary education, whereas political decentralization has a positive and significant impact on more advanced levels of schooling. © 2010 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 92 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 228-243

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:92:y:2010:i:2:p:228-243

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  1. Francisco Gallego, 2009. "Christian Missionaries and Education in Former Colonies: How Institutions Mattered," Working Papers ClioLab 5, EH Clio Lab. Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.
  2. Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1991. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Fuchs, Thomas & Wößmann, Ludger, 2007. "What accounts for international differences in student performance? A re-examination using PISA data," Munich Reprints in Economics 20303, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  4. Oded Galor & Omer Moav & Dietrich Vollrath, 2009. "Inequality in Landownership, the Emergence of Human-Capital Promoting Institutions, and the Great Divergence," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(1), pages 143-179.
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  6. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2004. "Das Human Kapital: A Theory of the Demise of the Class Structure," GE, Growth, Math methods 0410003, EconWPA.
  7. Raghuram G. Rajan, 2006. "Competitive Rent Preservation, Reform Paralysis, and the Persistence of Underdevelopment," NBER Working Papers 12093, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Bruhn, Miriam & Gallego, Francisco A., 2008. "Good, bad, and ugly colonial activities : studying development across the Americas," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4641, The World Bank.
  9. Deininger, Klaus & Olinto, Pedro, 2000. "Asset distribution, inequality, and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2375, The World Bank.
  10. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2003. "The "Virtues" of the Past: Education in the First Hundred Years of the New Republic," NBER Working Papers 9958, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Fisman, Raymond & Gatti, Roberta, 2000. "Decentralization and corruption - evidence across countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2290, The World Bank.
  12. Banerjee, Abhijit V., 2004. "Educational policy and the economics of the family," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 3-32, June.
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  14. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker Than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
  15. Eric A. Hanushek & Victor Lavy & Kohtaro Hitomi, 2006. "Do Students Care about School Quality? Determinants of Dropout Behavior in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 12737, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Torsten Persson, 2005. "Forms of Democracy, Policy and Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 11171, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Daron Acemoglu, 2000. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 7800, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Dilip Mookherjee & Pranab K. Bardhan, 2000. "Capture and Governance at Local and National Levels," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 135-139, May.
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