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Catch Me If You Can: Education and Catch-up in the Industrial Revolution

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  • Becker, Sascha O.

    ()
    (University of Warwick)

  • Hornung, Erik

    ()
    (Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

  • Woessmann, Ludger

    ()
    (Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Abstract

Existing evidence, mostly from British textile industries, rejects the importance of formal education for the Industrial Revolution. We provide new evidence from Prussia, a technological follower, where early-19th-century institutional reforms created the conditions to adopt the exogenously emerging new technologies. Our unique school-enrollment and factory-employment database links 334 counties from pre-industrial 1816 to two industrial phases in 1849 and 1882. Controlling extensively for pre-industrial development, we use pre-industrial education as an instrument to identify variation in later education that is exogenous to industrialization itself. We find that basic education significantly accelerated non-textile industrialization in both phases of the Industrial Revolution.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4556.

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Length: 56 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as 'Education and Catch-up in the Industrial Revolution' in: American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, 2011, 3 (3), 92-126
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4556

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Keywords: Prussian economic history; industrialization; human capital;

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Cited by:
  1. Latika Chaudhary & Aldo Musacchio & Steven Nafziger & Se Yan, 2012. "Big BRICs, Weak Foundations: The Beginning of Public Elementary Education in Brazil, Russia, India, and China," NBER Working Papers 17852, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Tomas Cvrcek & Miroslav Zajicek, 2013. "School, what is it good for? Useful Human Capital and the History of Public Education in Central Europe," NBER Working Papers 19690, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Irina Rosa España Eljaiek & Fabio Sánchez Torres, 2010. "Industrialización regional, café y capital humano en la primera mitad del siglo XX en Colombia," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 007723, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  4. Corneo, Giacomo, 2010. "Stakeholding as a new development strategy for Saudi Arabia," Discussion Papers 2010/20, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
  5. Gabriele Cappelli, 2013. "Escaping from a human capital trap? Italy’s regions and the move to centralized primary schooling, 1861 - 1936," Department of Economics University of Siena 688, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
  6. Becker, Sascha O. & Hornung, Erik & Wößmann, Ludger, 2011. "Education and catch-up in the industrial revolution," Munich Reprints in Economics 20261, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  7. Ralf Meisenzahl & Joel Mokyr, 2011. "The Rate and Direction of Invention in the British Industrial Revolution: Incentives and Institutions," NBER Working Papers 16993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Ralf R. Meisenzahl & Joel Mokyr, 2011. "The Rate and Direction of Invention in the British Industrial Revolution: Incentives and Institutions," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity Revisited, pages 443-479 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Ljubica Nedelkoska & Simon Wiederhold, 2010. "Technology, outsourcing, and the demand for heterogeneous labor: Exploring the industry dimension," Jena Economic Research Papers 2010-052, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.

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