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Education and Military Rivalry

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  • Philippe Aghion
  • Torsten Persson
  • Dorothee Rouzet

Abstract

Using data from the last 150 years in a small set of countries, and from the postwar period in a large set of countries, we show that large investments in state primary education systems tend to occur when countries face military rivals or threats from their neighbors. By contrast, we find that democratic transitions are negatively associated with education investments, while the presence of democratic political institutions magnifies the positive effect of military rivalries. These empirical results are robust to a number of statistical concerns and continue to hold when we instrument military rivalries with commodity prices or rivalries in a certain country’s immediate neighborhood. We also present historical case studies, as well as a simple model, that are consistent with the econometric evidence.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18049.

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Date of creation: May 2012
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18049

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Cited by:
  1. Cantoni, Davide & Yuchtman, Noam, 2013. "The political economy of educational content and development: Lessons from history," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 233-244.
  2. Manoel Bittencourt, 2013. "Democracy and Education: Evidence from the Southern African Development Community," Working Papers 201387, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
  3. Fuchs-Schündeln, Nicola & Masella, Paolo, 2013. "Long-Lasting Effects of Socialist Education," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79865, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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