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Farmer Families at the Heart of the Educational Revolution: Which Occupational Group Inherited Human Capital in the Early Modern Era?

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  • Franziska Tollnek

    ()
    (University of Tuebingen)

  • Joerg Baten

    ()
    (University of Tuebingen and CESifo)

Abstract

In this paper, we assess the inheritance of human capital in the early modern period with a comprehensive dataset covering eight countries in Europe and Latin America. We focus on the within-household process of human capital formation. Gregory Clark suggested that the wealthy and ‘capitalist’ groups of society provided their offspring with favorable skills. We confirm this finding partially, but there is another large group that reproduces successfully: farmers. By applying age-heaping-based techniques to a dataset of more than 322,000 observations, we argue that farmers contributed significantly to the formation of human capital and, consequently, to modern economic growth.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Historical Economics Society (EHES) in its series Working Papers with number 0033.

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Length: 55 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2012
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Handle: RePEc:hes:wpaper:0033

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  1. Boberg-Fazlic, Nina & Sharp, Paul & Weisdorf, Jacob, 2011. "Survival of the richest? Social status, fertility and social mobility in England 1541-1824," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(03), pages 365-392, December.
  2. J.Humphries & T. Leunig, 2007. "Cities, Market Integration and Going to Sea: Stunting and the standard of living in early nineteenth-century England and Wales," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford _066, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  3. Hadeishi, Hajime, 2003. "Economic Well-Being and Fertility in France: Nuits, 1744 1792," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(02), pages 489-505, June.
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  6. A'Hearn, Brian & Baten, Jörg & Crayen, Dorothee, 2009. "Quantifying Quantitative Literacy: Age Heaping and the History of Human Capital," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 7277, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Gregory Clark & Gillian Hamilton, 2006. "Survival of the Richest: The Malthusian Mechanism in Pre-Industrial England," Working Papers, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics 615, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  8. Clark, Gregory & Cummins, Neil, 2010. "Malthus to Modernity: England’s First Fertility Transition, 1760-1800," MPRA Paper 25465, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Broadberry,Stephen & O'Rourke,Kevin H., 2010. "The Cambridge Economic History of Modern Europe," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521708388.
  10. A. Colin Cameron & Pravin K. Trivedi, 2010. "Microeconometrics Using Stata, Revised Edition," Stata Press books, StataCorp LP, StataCorp LP, number musr, March.
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  12. Schofield, R. S., 1973. "Dimensions of illiteracy, 1750-1850," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 437-454.
  13. Gregory Clark, 2007. "Introduction to A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World
    [A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World]
    ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press, Princeton University Press.
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