IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Educational and income inequality in Europe, ca. 1870–2000

Listed author(s):
  • Péter Földvári


    (Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands)

  • Bas van Leeuwen

    (Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands)

In this paper, we revisit the relationship between educational and income inequalities in a historical perspective, using a newly developed annual dataset of average years of education in Europe. Theoretically one would expect a reduction in educational inequality should, given the positive correlation between education level and income, initially increase and then, at a later stage, reduce income inequality. Testing for such a Kuznets-type relationship between educational and income inequalities yields an unexpected result: we find the expected inverse U-curve before the 1950s, but the relationship changes into a normal U-curve afterward. We explain this observation by a change in the trend of skill premium during the second half of the twentieth century due to an increased relative demand for skills, which contradicts the usual assumption of decreasing returns to education. Due to lack of appropriate wage data, we cannot directly capture this effect. Yet, once we use an instrumental variable estimation method to filter out the effect of the omitted skill premium, the expected inverse U-curve also appears for the latter decades of the twentieth century.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to journal subscribers

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC) in its journal Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History.

Volume (Year): 8 (2014)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 271-300

in new window

Handle: RePEc:afc:cliome:v:8:y:2014:i:3:p:271-300
Contact details of provider: Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:afc:cliome:v:8:y:2014:i:3:p:271-300. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.