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From duty to right: The role of public education in the transition to aging societies

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  • Sugimoto, Yoshiaki
  • Nakagawa, Masao

Abstract

This paper argues that the introduction of compulsory schooling in early industrialization promoted the growth process that eventually led to a vicious cycle of population aging and negative pressure on education policy. In the early phases of industrialization, public education was undesirable for the young poor who relied on child labor. Compulsory schooling therefore discouraged childbirth, while the accompanying industrialization stimulated their demand for education. The subsequent rise in the share of the old population, however, limited government resources for education, placing heavier financial burdens on the young. This induced further fertility decline and population aging, and the resulting cycle may have delayed the growth of advanced economies in the last few decades.

Suggested Citation

  • Sugimoto, Yoshiaki & Nakagawa, Masao, 2010. "From duty to right: The role of public education in the transition to aging societies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 140-154, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:91:y:2010:i:1:p:140-154
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    Cited by:

    1. Sugimoto, Yoshiaki & Nakagawa, Masao, 2010. "From duty to right: The role of public education in the transition to aging societies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 140-154, January.
    2. Fumio Ohtake & Shinpei Sano, 2010. "The Effects of Demographic Change on Public Education in Japan," NBER Chapters,in: The Economic Consequences of Demographic Change in East Asia, NBER-EASE Volume 19, pages 193-219 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Vogel, Edgar, 2011. "Human Capital and the Demographic Transition: Why Schooling Became Optimal," MEA discussion paper series 11247, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Compulsory education Fertility Generational conflict Growth;

    JEL classification:

    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General

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