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Education Performance: Was It All Determined 100 Years Ago? Evidence From São Paulo, Brazil

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  • de Carvalho Filho, Irineu
  • Colistete, Renato P.

Abstract

This paper deals with institutional persistence in long-term economic development. We investigate the historical record of education in one of the fastest growing and most unequal societies in the twentieth century – the state of São Paulo, Brazil. Based on historical data from an agricultural census and education statistics, we assess the role played by factors such as land concentration, immigration and type of economic activity in determining supply and demand of education during the early twentieth century, and to what degree these factors help explain current educational performance and income levels. We find a positive and enduring effect of the presence of foreign-born immigrants on the supply of public instruction, as well as a negative effect of land concentration. Immigrant farm-laborers established their own community schools, and pressured for public funding for those schools or for public schools. The effects of early adoption of public instruction can be detected more than one hundred years later in the form of better test scores and higher income per capita. These results are suggestive of an additional mechanism generating inequality across regions: the places that received immigration from countries with an established public education system benefited from an earlier adoption of the revolutionary idea of public education.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 24494.

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Date of creation: 18 Aug 2010
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:24494

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Keywords: Public education; Brazil; Economic History; Economic Development; Coffee; Immigration; Land Inequality; Toryism;

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  1. Peter Lindert, 2003. "Voice and Growth: Was Churchill Right?," Working Papers 26, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  2. Lindert,Peter H., 2004. "Growing Public," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521529167.
  3. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
  4. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2002. "Reversal Of Fortune: Geography And Institutions In The Making Of The Modern World Income Distribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1231-1294, November.
  5. Hanushek, Eric A. & Wößmann, Ludger, 2008. "The role of cognitive skills in economic development," Munich Reprints in Economics 20454, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  6. Naritomi, Joana & Soares, Rodrigo R. & Assunção, Juliano J., 2012. "Institutional Development and Colonial Heritage within Brazil," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 72(02), pages 393-422, June.
  7. Hatton, Timothy J. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 1998. "The Age of Mass Migration: Causes and Economic Impact," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195116519, September.
  8. Carmen Fernandez & Eduardo Ley & Mark Steel, 2001. "Model uncertainty in cross-country growth regressions," Econometrics 0110002, EconWPA.
  9. Francisco Gallego, 2008. "Historical Origins of Schooling: The Role of Democracy and Political Decentralization," Documentos de Trabajo 342, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
  10. Daron Acemoglu & María Angélica Bautista & Pablo Querubín & James A. Robinson, 2007. "Economic and Political Inequality in Development: The Case of Cundinamarca, Colombia," NBER Working Papers 13208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Go, Sun & Lindert, Peter, 2010. "The Uneven Rise of American Public Schools to 1850," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 70(01), pages 1-26, March.
  12. 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.
  13. Kruger, Diana I., 2007. "Coffee production effects on child labor and schooling in rural Brazil," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 448-463, March.
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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. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Renato Colistete & Maria Lucia Lamounier, 2014. "Land Inequality in a Coffee Economy: São Paulo During the Early Twentieth Century," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2014_01, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).
  5. 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.
  6. Neil Kendrick, 2013. "Educação para todos –“free to those who can afford it”: human capital and inequality persistence in 21st c Brazil," Economic History Working Papers 50970, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
  7. Stolz, Yvonne & Baten, Jörg & Botelho, Tarcísio, 2011. "Growth effects of 19th century mass migrations: "Fome Zero" for Brazil," University of Tuebingen Working Papers in Economics and Finance 20, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences.

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