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From Kuttabs to Schools: Educational Modernization, Religion, and Human Capital in Twentieth Century Egypt

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  • Saleh, Mohamed

Abstract

I examine the impact of the transformation of elementary religious schools (kuttabs) into modern primary schools in 1953-56 on the educational and occupational differentials between religious groups in Egypt. Before the reform, non-Muslims enjoyed better educational and occupational outcomes than the Muslim majority and, unlike Muslims, were almost all enrolled in modern schools. Using several new data sources, the individual-level census sample from 1996, the official schooling reports from 1907 to 1969, and the village/urban quarter-level census data from 1897 to 1986, I find that the inter-religious educational and occupational gaps both declined in the second half of the twentieth century. The educational reform seems to explain the reduction in the occupational gap, but cannot explain the decline of the educational gap.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) in its series TSE Working Papers with number 12-366.

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Date of creation: Aug 2012
Date of revision: Sep 2012
Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:26115

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Keywords: educational modernization; religious schools; Middle Eastern economic history; human capital; modern schools;

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References

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  1. Timo Boppart & Josef Falkinger & Volker Grossmann & Ulrich Woitek & Gabriela Wüthrich, 2008. "Qualifying Religion: The Role of Plural Identities for Educational Production," IEW - Working Papers 360, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  2. Sascha O. Becker & Ludger Woessmann, 2009. "Was Weber Wrong? A Human Capital Theory of Protestant Economic History," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(2), pages 531-596, May.
  3. Jurgen Brauer & J Paul Dunne, 2007. "Introduction," Economics of Peace and Security Journal, Economists for Peace and Security (UK), vol. 2(1), pages 1-5, January.
  4. Esther Duflo, 2001. "Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 795-813, September.
  5. Botticini, Maristella & Eckstein, Zvi, 2005. "Jewish Occupational Selection: Education, Restrictions, or Minorities?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(04), pages 922-948, December.
  6. Vani Borooah & Sriya Iyer, 2005. "Vidya, Veda, and Varna: The influence of religion and caste on education in rural India," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(8), pages 1369-1404.
  7. Saleh, Mohamed, 2012. "The Reluctant Transformation: Modernization, Religion, and Human Capital in Nineteenth Century Egypt," TSE Working Papers 13-434, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
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Cited by:
  1. Saleh, Mohamed, 2012. "The Reluctant Transformation: Modernization, Religion, and Human Capital in Nineteenth Century Egypt," IAST Working Papers 12-05, Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse (IAST).

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