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The Great Leap Forward: The Political Economy of Education in Brazil, 1889-1930

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  • André Martínez
  • Martina Viarengo
  • Aldo Musacchio

Abstract

Recent research links the inequality across countries and regions to colonial institutions. This paper argues that trade shocks could alter the development path of a country or subnational units, in spite of its colonial institutions. This hypothesis is analyzed using state-level data for Brazil, a country with high regional heterogeneity in endowments. We find that positive trade shocks, or improvements in export tax revenues, increased expenditures on education per capita and education outcomes in the period 1889 to 1930. In fact, trade shocks ended up altering the inequality in education levels across states in a permanent way. The paper ends by explaining why politicians spent windfall tax revenues to invest on education.

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File URL: http://www.banxico.org.mx/publicaciones-y-discursos/publicaciones/documentos-de-investigacion/banxico/%7BC4213F73-8E2F-0E2B-E719-F728CEE8EA64%7D.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Banco de México in its series Working Papers with number 2010-18.

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Date of creation: Dec 2010
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Handle: RePEc:bdm:wpaper:2010-18

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Web page: http://www.banxico.org.mx
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Keywords: Institutions; Fiscal Federalism; Education; Long Run Development;

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Citations

RePEc Biblio mentions

As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
  1. > Economic History > Regional Economic History > Latin American Economic History > Economic History of Brazil
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Cited by:
  1. de Carvalho Filho, Irineu & Monasterio, Leonardo, 2012. "Immigration and the origins of regional inequality: Government-sponsored European migration to southern Brazil before World War I," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(5), pages 794-807.
  2. 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.

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