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The Century of Education

  • Christian Morrisson
  • Fabrice Murtin

This paper presents a historical database on educational attainment in 74 countries for the period 1870-2010, using perpetual inventory methods before 1960 and then the Cohen and Soto database. We use a measurement error framework to merge the two databases, while correcting for a systematic measurement bias in Cohen and Soto's study linked to differential mortality across educational groups. Descriptive statistics show a continuous spread of education that has accelerated in the second half of the twentieth century. We find evidence of fast convergence in years of schooling for a subsample of advanced countries during the 1870-1914 globalization period and of modest convergence since 1980. Less advanced countries have been excluded from the convergence club in both cases. (c) 2009 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved..

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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Human Capital.

Volume (Year): 3 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 1-42

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jhucap:v:3:y:2009:i:1:p:1-42
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  1. Daniel Cohen & Marcelo Soto, 2001. "Growth and Human Capital: Good Data, Good Results," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 179, OECD Publishing.
  2. François Bourguignon & Christian Morrisson, 2002. "Inequality Among World Citizens: 1820-1992," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 727-744, September.
  3. Bourguignon, F. & Verdier, T., 1997. "Oligarchy, Democracy, Inequality and Growth," DELTA Working Papers 97-10, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  4. Angel de la Fuente & Rafael Donénech, 2000. "Human Capital in Growth Regressions: How much Difference Does Data Quality Make?," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 262, OECD Publishing.
  5. Mikael Lindahl & Alan B. Krueger, 2001. "Education for Growth: Why and for Whom?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1101-1136, December.
  6. Fabrice Murtin & null null, 2014. "The democratic transition," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/5m0od0o9jn9, Sciences Po.
  7. Lindert,Peter H., 2004. "Growing Public," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521821742.
  8. Portela, Miguel & Alessie, Rob & Teulings, Coen, 2004. "Measurement Error in Education and Growth Regressions," IZA Discussion Papers 1165, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Godo, Yoshihisa & Hayami, Yujiro, 2002. "Catching Up in Education in the Economic Catch-Up of Japan with the United States, 1890-1990," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50(4), pages 961-78, July.
  10. Fabrice Murtin & Martina Viarengo, 2008. "The convergence of compulsory schooling in Western Europe: 1950-2000," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 23311, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  11. Blundell, R. & Bond, S., 1995. "Initial Conditions and Moment Restrictions in Dynamic Panel Data Models," Economics Papers 104, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  12. Scott L. Baier & Gerald P. Dwyer & Robert Tamura, 2006. "How Important are Capital and Total Factor Productivity for Economic Growth?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 44(1), pages 23-49, January.
  13. Isaac Ehrlich & Jinyoung Kim, 2007. "The Evolution Of Income And Fertility Inequalities Over The Course Of Economic Development: A Human Capital Perspective," Discussion Paper Series 0704, Institute of Economic Research, Korea University.
  14. Murtin, Fabrice & Viarengo, Martina, 2009. "American Education in the Age of Mass Migrations 1870-1930," IZA Discussion Papers 3964, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Oded Galor & Omer Moav & Dietrich Vollrath, 2009. "Inequality in Landownership, the Emergence of Human-Capital Promoting Institutions, and the Great Divergence," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(1), pages 143-179.
  16. Wolfgang Lutz & Anne Goujon & Samir K.C. & Warren Sanderson, 2007. "Reconstruction of population by age, sex and level of educational attainment of 120 countries for 1970-2000," Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, vol. 5(1), pages 193-235.
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