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Nation building: The role of central spending in education

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  • Cinnirella, Francesco
  • Schueler, Ruth

Abstract

It is generally argued that, in the context of Imperial Germany, public primary education was used to form “loyal citizens” and to build a nation. In this paper we analyze to what extent state spending on primary education affected participation at general elections and votes for pro-nationalist parties. We combine census data on the composition of school funding with federal election data at the level of 199 constituencies in five-year intervals from 1886 to 1911. Panel estimates of models with constituency and time-fixed effects show that an increase in the share of central spending is positively related to the vote share for pro-nationalist parties. Results on voter turnout are weaker and less clear cut. Estimates of models with lagged state spending by category of expenditure are consistent with the role of indoctrination of public primary education.

Suggested Citation

  • Cinnirella, Francesco & Schueler, Ruth, 2018. "Nation building: The role of central spending in education," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 18-39.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:67:y:2018:i:c:p:18-39
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eeh.2017.08.002
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    Cited by:

    1. Ruth Maria Schüler, 2016. "Educational inputs and economic development in end-of-nineteenth-century Prussia," ifo Working Paper Series 227, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Nation building; Primary education; Indoctrination; Prussian Economic History;

    JEL classification:

    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N43 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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