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The Great Leap Forward: The Political Economy of Education in Brazil, 1889-1930

Author

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  • André Martínez
  • Martina Viarengo
  • Aldo Musacchio

Abstract

Recent research links the inequality across countries and regions to colonial institutions. This paper argues that trade shocks could alter the development path of a country or subnational units, in spite of its colonial institutions. This hypothesis is analyzed using state-level data for Brazil, a country with high regional heterogeneity in endowments. We find that positive trade shocks, or improvements in export tax revenues, increased expenditures on education per capita and education outcomes in the period 1889 to 1930. In fact, trade shocks ended up altering the inequality in education levels across states in a permanent way. The paper ends by explaining why politicians spent windfall tax revenues to invest on education.

Suggested Citation

  • André Martínez & Martina Viarengo & Aldo Musacchio, 2010. "The Great Leap Forward: The Political Economy of Education in Brazil, 1889-1930," Working Papers 2010-18, Banco de México.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdm:wpaper:2010-18
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Chaudhary, Latika & Musacchio, Aldo & Nafziger, Steven & Yan, Se, 2012. "Big BRICs, weak foundations: The beginning of public elementary education in Brazil, Russia, India, and China," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 221-240.
    2. Kosec, Katrina, 2014. "Relying on the private sector: The income distribution and public investments in the poor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 320-342.
    3. Bobonis, Gustavo J. & Morrow, Peter M., 2014. "Labor coercion and the accumulation of human capital," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 32-53.
    4. de Carvalho Filho, Irineu & Monasterio, Leonardo, 2012. "Immigration and the origins of regional inequality: Government-sponsored European migration to southern Brazil before World War I," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(5), pages 794-807.
    5. Bruno Gabriel Witzel de Souza, 2016. "Immigration and the Path-Dependence of Education: German-Speaking Immigrants, On-the-Job Skills, and Ethnic Schools in São Paulo, Brazil (1840-1920)," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 234, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
    6. Paola Azar Dufrechou, 2018. "Electoral politics and the diffusion of primary schooling: evidence from Uruguay, 1914-1954," Working Papers wpdea1801, Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Institutions; Fiscal Federalism; Education; Long Run Development;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
    • N26 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • N36 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • N46 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • N96 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Latin America; Caribbean

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