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Global trends in numeracy 1820-1949 and its implications for long-term growth

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  • Crayen, Dorothee
  • Baten, Joerg

Abstract

This study is the first to explore long-run trends of numeracy for the period from 1820 to 1949 in 165 countries, and its contribution to growth. Estimates of the long-run numeracy development of most countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, America, and Europe are presented, using age-heaping techniques. Assessing the determinants of numeracy, we find school enrollment as well as Chinese instruments of number learning to have been particularly important. We also study the contribution of numeracy as measured by the age-heaping strategy for long-run economic growth using a pooled cross-section analysis. In a variety of ways, numeracy proved to be crucial for growth patterns around the globe.

Suggested Citation

  • Crayen, Dorothee & Baten, Joerg, 2010. "Global trends in numeracy 1820-1949 and its implications for long-term growth," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 82-99, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:47:y:2010:i:1:p:82-99
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