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Oil Discoveries and Education Spending in the Postbellum South

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  • Stephan E. Maurer

Abstract

This paper studies the effect of oil wealth on the provision of education in the early 20th century United States. Using information on the location and discovery of major oil fields, I find that oil wealth increased local revenue and education spending. The quality of white teachers increased, and oil-rich counties were more likely to participate in the Rosenwald school building program for blacks. In addition, student-teacher ratios for black school children declined substantially. However, I do not find increased school enrolment rates for either race.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephan E. Maurer, 2018. "Oil Discoveries and Education Spending in the Postbellum South," CEP Discussion Papers dp1526, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1526
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    Keywords

    oil; education; race; rosenwald; local public finances; resource booms; teachers;

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • N3 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation

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