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Capital humano y desarrollo económico: Una compleja relación



    () (Departamento de Economía. Escuela Universitaria de Turismo de Ibiza.)


The aim of this study is to describe a case in which the correlation between the teaching of literacy and economic development would seem to clearly deviate from the principal theories currently in use. In the Balearic Islands between 1877 and 1900 a high level of economic development coexisted with bleak figures of illiteracy which placed the Islands amongst the most poorly educated provinces of Spain, while from 1900 onwards the Islands improved their education levels with uncommon speed until they had reached levels superior to the average in Spain. In this article (paper) we propose that the teaching of literacy is a variable which corresponds closely to economic incentives perceived by families, and that the correlation between industrialization and the teaching of literacy is by no means linear. The special characteristics of industrialization in Mallorca – dispersed and mainly manifesting in small companies – together with the presence of Catalan as the dominant language created specific conditions which demonstrate to what degree the teaching of literacy can be at the same time both the cause and the effect of a process of economic modernization. El objetivo del presente trabajo consiste en describir un caso en el que la vinculación entre alfabetización y desarrollo económico se distancia claramente de las principales teorías al uso. Entre 1877 y 1900 en las Islas Baleares, coexistían un elevado nivel de desarrollo económico con una cifras de analfabetismo desoladoras que las situaban entre las últimas provincias de España pero, a partir del 1900, las Islas mejoraron sus niveles educativos con inusitada rapidez hasta situarse por encima de la media española. En este artículo se propone que la alfabetización constituye una variable que responde explícitamente a los incentivos económicos que perciben las familias y que la vinculación entre industrialización y alfabetización no es, ni mucho menos, lineal. Las especiales características de la industrialización mallorquina –difusa y mayoritariamente no fabril– unida a la presencia del catalán como lengua dominante crearon unas condiciones específicas que muestran hasta qué punto la alfabetización puede ser a la vez causa y efecto de un proceso de modernización económica.

Suggested Citation

  • Cirer-Costa, Joan Carles, 2008. "Capital humano y desarrollo económico: Una compleja relación," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 26, pages 89-114, Julio.
  • Handle: RePEc:lrk:eeaart:26_3_13

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    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General
    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative


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