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The Century of Education

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  • Christian Morrisson
  • Fabrice Murtin

Abstract

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 (2007) database. The correlation between the two sets of average years of schooling in 1960 is equal to 0.96. We use a measurement error framework to merge the two databases, while correcting for a systematic measurement bias in Cohen and Soto (2007) 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 sub-sample 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Morrisson & Fabrice Murtin, 2009. "The Century of Education," CEP Discussion Papers dp0934, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0934
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. François Bourguignon & Christian Morrisson, 2002. "Inequality Among World Citizens: 1820-1992," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 727-744, September.
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    13. 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 961-978, July.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inequality; human capital; economic history; copula function;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • E27 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • N00 - Economic History - - General - - - General
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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