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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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File URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/rest.2010.11894
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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. 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.
  2. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2006. "Das Human-Kapital: A Theory of the Demise of the Class Structure," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 85-117.
  3. 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.
  4. Daron Acemoglu, 2002. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(1), pages 7-72, March.
  5. Fisman, Raymond & Gatti, Roberta, 2002. "Decentralization and corruption: evidence across countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 325-345, March.
  6. Alesina, Alberto & Rodrik, Dani, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(2), pages 465-90, May.
  7. 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.
  8. Robert P. Inman & Daniel L. Rubinfeld, 1997. "Rethinking Federalism," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 43-64, Fall.
  9. Deininger, Klaus & Olinto, Pedro, 2000. "Asset distribution, inequality, and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2375, The World Bank.
  10. Francisco Gallego & Robert Woodberry, 2008. "Christian Missionaries and Education in Former Colonies: How Institutions Mattered," Documentos de Trabajo 339, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
  11. Oded Galor & Omar Moav & Dietrich Vollrath, 2006. "Inequality in Land Ownership, the Emergence of Human Capital Promoting Institutions, and the Great Divergence," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_001, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  12. Thomas Fuchs & Ludger Woessmann, 2004. "What Accounts for International Differences in Student Performance? A Re-examination using PISA Data," Econometric Society 2004 Australasian Meetings 274, Econometric Society.
  13. Banerjee, Abhijit V., 2004. "Educational policy and the economics of the family," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 3-32, June.
  14. Pranab Bardhan, 2002. "Decentralization of Governance and Development," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(4), pages 185-205, Fall.
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Cited by:
  1. Chaudhary, Latika & Musacchio, Aldo & Nafziger, Steven & Yan, Se, 2012. "Big BRICs, weak foundations: The beginning of public elementary education in Brazil, Russia, India, and China," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 221-240.
  2. Blanco, Luisa & Grier, Robin, 2012. "Natural resource dependence and the accumulation of physical and human capital in Latin America," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 281-295.
  3. Raphael A. Auer, 2012. "Geography, Institutions, and the Making of Comparative Development," CESifo Working Paper Series 3874, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. de Carvalho Filho, Irineu & Colistete, Renato P., 2010. "Education Performance: Was It All Determined 100 Years Ago? Evidence From São Paulo, Brazil," MPRA Paper 24494, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Ioanna Stylianou & Chih Ming Tan & Andros Kourtellos, 2012. "Failure to Launch? The Role of Land Inequality in Transition Delays," 2012 Meeting Papers 432, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 2006. "The Persistence of Underdevelopment:Institutions, Human Capital or Constituencies?," Working Papers id:447, eSocialSciences.
  7. Jeanet Sinding Bentzen & Nicolai Kaarsen & Asger Moll Wingender, 2012. "Irrigation and Autocracy," Discussion Papers 12-06, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  8. Raphael Anton Auer, 2008. "The Colonial and Geographic Origins of Comparative Development," Working Papers 2008-08, Swiss National Bank.
  9. Raghuram G. Rajan, 2006. "Competitive Rent Preservation, Reform Paralysis, and the Persistence of Underdevelopment," NBER Working Papers 12093, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Rodrigo Cerda, 2009. "The Impact of Government Spending on the Duration and the Intensity of Economic Crises: Latin America 1900-2000," Working Papers ClioLab 1, EH Clio Lab. Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.
  11. Francesco Cinnirella & Erik Hornung, 2011. "Landownership Concentration and the Expansion of Education," Working Papers 0010, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
  12. Aldo Musacchio & André Carlos Martínez Fritscher & Martina Viarengo, 2010. "Colonial Institutions, Trade Shocks, and the Diffusion of Elementary Education in Brazil, 1889-1930," Harvard Business School Working Papers 10-075, Harvard Business School, revised Dec 2012.
  13. André Martínez-Fritscher & Aldo Musacchio & Martina Viarengo, 2010. "The Great Leap Forward: The Political Economy Of Education In Brazil, 1889-1930," Working Papers 03-2010, Universidade de São Paulo, Faculdade de Economia, Administração e Contabilidade de Ribeirão Preto.
  14. Bolt, Jutta & Bezemer, Dirk, 2008. "Understanding Long-Run African Growth: Colonial Institutions or Colonial Education? Evidence from a New Data Set," MPRA Paper 7029, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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