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El sueño de los radicales y las desigualdades regionales en Colombia: La educación de calidad para todos como política de desarrollo territorial

Listed author(s):
  • Adolfo Meisel Roca


In this paper we argue that the most effective policy for the reduction in regional income disparities observed in Colombia is to invest in the human capital of the inhabitants of the periphery. Initially, we review the failed efforts to transform Colombian education in the late nineteenth century promoted by the so called radicales, wing of the Liberal Party. When they lost political influence, the Conservative Party returned to the Catholic Church the control of education. In a certain way the dream of the Radicals is still unfulfilled. In the last section, four examples of policies to raise human capital in the periphery are presented. The costs of these policies are estimated for the case of the Colombian Caribbean, the most populated lagged backward region of the country. RESUMEN: En este trabajo se argumenta que la política más efectiva para reducir las enormes desigualdades regionales que se observan en Colombia es la inversión en el capital humano de la gente de la periferia del país. En la primera sección se hace un repaso de lo que fue el sueño de los liberales radicales de fines del siglo XIX, quienes trataron de modernizar muchos aspectos de la vida económica y social del país. Un tema al cual le otorgaron la mayor importancia, la creación de un sistema de educación primaria, universal, laica y gratuita, termino en el fracaso debido a que los sectores conservadores le devolvieron el control de la educación a la Iglesia Católica. De cierta manera, los anhelos de los radicales siguen sin haberse logrado del todo. En la última sección, a manera de ilustración, se proponen cuatro estrategias de inversión en capital que permitirían que la periferia mejore su situación con respecto a las regiones más desarrolladas. Se realiza una cuantificación del valor de esas propuestas para el caso de la Costa Caribe, la región rezagada con el mayor número de habitantes.

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Date of creation: 11 Oct 2011
Handle: RePEc:col:000102:009053
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