The Worldwide Expansion of Education the Past Half-Century and its Impact upon the Global Economy
The past half-century has been witness to the largest education expansion drive in human history; as a worldwide education expansion project played itself out. This expansion has taken up a significant proportion of resources of nations. In the case of the developing countries education is almost invariably the biggest item on government’s expenditure budgets. In the case of the United States of America (USA) federal funds allocated to education rose tenfold in the thirty year period 1970 to 2000, from US$ 9.2 billion to US$ 90.6 billion. One major motivation for this concentrated employment of resources is the belief that investment in education promotes, or indeed is a sine qua non for economic growth. Testing this supposed relation, especially in the contemporary era, is therefore timely. The aim of this article is to investigate the co-variation between education effort (measured in terms of enrollment ratios) and economic performance (measured by per capita gross domestic product) of the various countries of the world, almost half a century ago; at the outset of the massive education expansion drive which took off during the second half of the twentieth century.
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