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Global Trends in Numeracy 1820-1949 and its Implications for Long-Run Growth

  • Jörg Baten
  • Dorothee Crayen

This study is the first to explore long-run trends of numeracy for the 1820-1949 period in 165 countries, and its contribution to growth. Estimates of the long-run numeracy development of most countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, America, and Europe are presented, using age-heaping techniques. Assessing the determinants of numeracy, we find school enrolment as well as Chinese instruments of number learning to have been particularly important. We also study the contribution of numeracy as measured by the age-heaping strategy for long-run economic growth. In a variety of specifications, numeracy mattered quite strongly for growth patterns around the globe.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2008/wp-cesifo-2008-02/cesifo1_wp2218.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2218.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2218
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  1. Mankiw, N Gregory & Romer, David & Weil, David N, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-37, May.
  2. Brian A'Hearn & Jörg Baten & Dorothee Crayen, 2006. "Quantifying quantitative literacy: Age heaping and the history of human capital," Economics Working Papers 996, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
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  14. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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  16. Christian Morrisson & Fabrice Murtin, 2007. "Education inequalities and the Kuznets curves: a global perspective since 1870," PSE Working Papers halshs-00588085, HAL.
  17. Crafts, N. F. R., 1997. "The Human Development Index and changes in standards of living: Some historical comparisons," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(03), pages 299-322, December.
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