IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ahe/dtaehe/1904.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Human capital at the beginnings of the 18th century Catalonia: age-heaping and numeracy in a changing economy

Author

Listed:
  • Èric Gómez-i-Aznar

    () (University of Barcelona, Spain)

Abstract

This article examines numeracy levels in Catalonia in the first years of the 18th century. The age-heaping methodology is applied to a source, the municipal registers of inhabitants (padrons), which is less biased than other sources commonly used in the literature. Moreover, this source allows considering a large number of observations (over 6,700) and offers a substantial geographical coverage. The study of the Catalan case is particularly appealing due to the scarce information available for human capital in the 18th-century, a crucial period in the transition from a preindustrial to an industrial society. The results show high levels of arithmetic capacity at the beginning of the century, mainly in urban areas and among the middle classes, with values close to those of other parts of Western Europe. In addition, they point to changes in occupational groups as a potential key factor in the positive evolution of this capacity, possibly making it a good indicator of learning in the workplace. Partial indicators of wealth also appear to link numeracy levels with access to equal opportunities.

Suggested Citation

  • Èric Gómez-i-Aznar, 2019. "Human capital at the beginnings of the 18th century Catalonia: age-heaping and numeracy in a changing economy," Documentos de Trabajo (DT-AEHE) 1904, Asociación Española de Historia Económica.
  • Handle: RePEc:ahe:dtaehe:1904
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.aehe.es/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/dt-aehe-1904.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Sascha O. Becker & Ludger Woessmann, 2009. "Was Weber Wrong? A Human Capital Theory of Protestant Economic History," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 531-596.
    2. 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.
    3. Robert C. Allen, 2003. "Progress and poverty in early modern Europe," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 56(3), pages 403-443, August.
    4. Edward L. Glaeser & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Do Institutions Cause Growth?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 271-303, September.
    5. Franziska Tollnek & Joerg Baten, 2017. "Farmers at the heart of the ‘human capital revolution’? Decomposing the numeracy increase in early modern Europe," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 70(3), pages 779-809, August.
    6. de Pleijt, Alexandra M., 2015. "Human capital and long run economic growth : Evidence from the stock of human capital in England, 1300-1900," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 229, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    7. Brian A'Hearn & Alexia Delfino & Alessandro Nuvolari, 2016. "Rethinking Age-Heaping. A Cautionary Tale from Nineteenth Century Italy," LEM Papers Series 2016/35, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    8. Raouf Boucekkine & David de la Croix & Dominique Peeters, 2007. "Early Literacy Achievements, Population Density, and the Transition to Modern Growth," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(1), pages 183-226, March.
    9. A'Hearn, Brian & Baten, Jörg & Crayen, Dorothee, 2009. "Quantifying Quantitative Literacy: Age Heaping and the History of Human Capital," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 69(3), pages 783-808, September.
    10. Oded Galor, 2011. "Unified Growth Theory," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 9477.
    11. Sascha O. Becker & Erik Hornung & Ludger Woessmann, 2011. "Education and Catch-Up in the Industrial Revolution," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 92-126, July.
    12. Matthias Blum & Christopher L. Colvin & Laura McAtackney & Eoin McLaughlin, 2017. "Women of an uncertain age: quantifying human capital accumulation in rural Ireland in the nineteenth century," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 70(1), pages 187-223, February.
    13. Beltrán Tapia, Francisco J. & Martinez-Galarraga, Julio, 2018. "Inequality and education in pre-industrial economies: Evidence from Spain," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 81-101.
    14. Juif, Dácil-Tania & Baten, Joerg, 2013. "On the human capital of Inca Indios before and after the Spanish Conquest. Was there a “Pre-Colonial Legacy”?," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 227-241.
    15. Alexandra M. de Pleijt & Jacob L. Weisdorf, 2017. "Human capital formation from occupations: the ‘deskilling hypothesis’ revisited," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 11(1), pages 1-30, January.
    16. Saint-Paul, Gilles & Verdier, Thierry, 1993. "Education, democracy and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 399-407, December.
    17. Mikołaj Szołtysek & R. Poniat & S. Gruber, 2018. "Age heaping patterns in Mosaic data," Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(1), pages 13-38, January.
    18. Mara P. Squicciarini & Nico Voigtländer, 2015. "Human Capital and Industrialization: Evidence from the Age of Enlightenment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(4), pages 1825-1883.
    19. Claude Diebolt & Charlotte Le Chapelain & Audrey-Rose Menard, 2017. "Industrialization as a Deskilling Process? Steam Engines and Human Capital in XIXth Century France," Working Papers 07-17, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC).
    20. Raphaël Franck & Oded Galor, 2015. "The Complementary between Technology and Human Capital in the Early Phase of Industrialization," CESifo Working Paper Series 5485, CESifo Group Munich.
    21. Julie Marfany, 2010. "Is it still helpful to talk about proto‐industrialization? Some suggestions from a Catalan case study," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 63(4), pages 942-973, November.
    22. Jones, Charles I, 1995. "R&D-Based Models of Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 759-784, August.
    23. Matthias Blum & Karl†Peter Krauss, 2018. "Age heaping and numeracy: looking behind the curtain," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 71(2), pages 464-479, May.
    24. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 2000. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From Malthusian Stagnation to the Demographic Transition and Beyond," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 806-828, September.
    25. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-437.
    26. Álvarez, Begoña & Palencia, Fernando Ramos, 2018. "Human capital and earnings in eighteenth-century Castile," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 105-133.
    27. Tine De Moor & Jaco Zuijderduijn, 2013. "The Art of Counting: Reconstructing Numeracy of the Middle and Upper Classes on the Basis of Portraits in the Early Modern Low Countries," Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(1), pages 41-56, March.
    28. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2001. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 541-563, July.
    29. Rosés, Joan R., 1998. "Measuring the contribution of human capital to the development of the Catalan factory system (1830–61)," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(1), pages 25-48, April.
    30. Davide Cantoni, 2015. "The Economic Effects Of The Protestant Reformation: Testing The Weber Hypothesis In The German Lands," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 13(4), pages 561-598, August.
    31. Brian A'Hearn & Alexia Delfino, 2016. "Rethinking Age-heaping, a Cautionary Tale From Nineteenth Century Italy," Economics Series Working Papers Paper 148, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    32. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong Wha, 2013. "A new data set of educational attainment in the world, 1950–2010," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 184-198.
    33. Oded Galor, 2011. "Unified Growth Theory and Comparative Development," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, issue 2, pages 9-21, April-Jun.
    34. Kerstin Manzel & Joerg Baten & Yvonne Stolz, 2012. "Convergence and divergence of numeracy: the development of age heaping in Latin America from the seventeenth to the twentieth century," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 65(3), pages 932-960, August.
    35. Julio Martínez-Galarraga & Marc Prat, 2016. "Wages, prices, and technology in early Catalan industrialization," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 69(2), pages 548-574, May.
    36. Peter Földvári & Bas Van Leeuwen & Jieli Van Leeuwen‐Li, 2012. "How did women count? A note on gender‐specific age heaping differences in the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 65(1), pages 304-313, February.
    37. Wallis, Patrick, 2008. "Apprenticeship and Training in Premodern England," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 68(3), pages 832-861, September.
    38. Ludger Woszmann, 2003. "Specifying Human Capital," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(3), pages 239-270, July.
    39. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong Wha, 1996. "International Measures of Schooling Years and Schooling Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 218-223, May.
    40. Zeev, Nadav Ben & Mokyr, Joel & van der Beek, Karine, 2017. "Flexible Supply of Apprenticeship in the British Industrial Revolution," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 208-250, March.
    41. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Human Capital; Numeracy; Economic Growth; Inequality; Catalonia;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ahe:dtaehe:1904. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Antònia Morey). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/aeheeea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.