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

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  • Jörg Baten
  • Dorothee Crayen

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Jörg Baten & Dorothee Crayen, 2008. "Global Trends in Numeracy 1820-1949 and its Implications for Long-Run Growth," CESifo Working Paper Series 2218, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2218
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jörg Baten & Mikołaj Szołtysek, 2014. "A golden age before serfdom? The human capital of Central-Eastern and Eastern Europe in the 17th-19th centuries," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2014-008, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    2. Peter H. Lindert, 2009. "Revealing Failures in the History of School Finance," NBER Working Papers 15491, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Friesen, Julia & Baten, Jörg & Prayon, Valeria, 2012. "Women Count: Gender (in-)equalities in the human capital development in Asia, 1900-60," University of Tübingen Working Papers in Business and Economics 29, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, School of Business and Economics.
    4. Robert C. Allen, 2015. "The high wage economy and the industrial revolution: a restatement," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 68(1), pages 1-22, February.
    5. Dorothee Crayen & Joerg Baten, 2010. "New evidence and new methods to measure human capital inequality before and during the industrial revolution: France and the US in the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 63(2), pages 452-478, May.
    6. Joerg Baten & Ralph Hippe, 2018. "Geography, land inequality and regional numeracy in Europe in historical perspective," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 79-109, March.
    7. 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.
    8. Baten, Joerg & Ma, Debin & Morgan, Stephen & Wang, Qing, 2009. "Evolution of living standards and human capital in China in 18-20th century: evidences from real wage and anthropometrics," Economic History Working Papers 27870, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
    9. 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.
    10. Baten, Joerg & Sohn, Kitae, 2013. "Back to the 'normal' level of human-capital driven growth? A note on early numeracy in Korea, China and Japan, 1550 - 1800," University of Tübingen Working Papers in Business and Economics 52, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, School of Business and Economics.
    11. Baten, Joerg & Juif, Dácil, 2014. "A story of large landowners and math skills: Inequality and human capital formation in long-run development, 1820–2000," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 375-401.
    12. Jörg Baten & Mikołaj Szołtysek, 2012. "The human capital of Central-Eastern and Eastern Europe in European perspective," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2012-002, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    human capital; age heaping; growth; industrial revolution; numeracy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • N01 - Economic History - - General - - - Development of the Discipline: Historiographical; Sources and Methods
    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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