IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cpr/ceprdp/12811.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Can autocracy promote literacy? evidence from a cultural alignment success story

Author

Listed:
  • Palma, Nuno Pedro G.
  • Reis, Jaime Brown

Abstract

Do countries with less democratic forms of government have lower literacy rates as a consequence? Using a random sample of 4,600+ individuals from military archives in Portugal, we show that 20-year old males were twice as likely to end up literate under an authoritarian regime than under a democratic one. Our results are robust to controlling for a host of factors including economic growth, the disease environment, and regional fixed effects. We argue for a political economy and cultural explanation for the success of the authoritarian regime in promoting basic education.

Suggested Citation

  • Palma, Nuno Pedro G. & Reis, Jaime Brown, 2018. "Can autocracy promote literacy? evidence from a cultural alignment success story," CEPR Discussion Papers 12811, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:12811
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=12811
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Xue, Melanie Meng & Koyama, Mark, 2018. "Autocratic Rule and Social Capital: Evidence from Imperial China," MPRA Paper 84249, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Geloso, Vincent J. & Salter, Alexander W., 2020. "State capacity and economic development: Causal mechanism or correlative filter?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 170(C), pages 372-385.
    3. Becker, Sascha O. & Rubin, Jared & Woessmann, Ludger, 2020. "Religion in Economic History: A Survey," CEPR Discussion Papers 14894, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Esther Duflo, 2001. "Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 795-813, September.
    5. Raouf Boucekkine & David de la Croix & Dominique Peeters, 2007. "Early Literacy Achievements, Population Density, and the Transition to Modern Growth," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(1), pages 183-226, March.
    6. Carl-Johan Dalgaard & Holger Strulik, 2015. "The physiological foundations of the wealth of nations," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 37-73, March.
    7. Carl‐Johan Dalgaard & Holger Strulik, 2016. "Physiology and Development: Why the West is Taller Than the Rest," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(598), pages 2292-2323, December.
    8. Mehrdad Vahabi, 2016. "A positive theory of the predatory state," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 168(3), pages 153-175, September.
    9. Jens Andersson & Thor Berger, 2019. "Elites and the expansion of education in nineteenth‐century Sweden," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 72(3), pages 897-924, August.
    10. Voigtländer, Nico & Voth, Hans-Joachim, 2014. "Highway To Hitler," CEPR Discussion Papers 9983, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Sascha O. Becker & Erik Hornung & Ludger Woessmann, 2011. "Education and Catch-Up in the Industrial Revolution," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 92-126, July.
    12. Lee, Ju-Ho, 2016. "프로젝트 학습을 통한 교육개혁 [Educational Reform Through Project-Based Learning (PBL)]," KDI Research Monographs, Korea Development Institute (KDI), volume 127, number v:2016-01(k):y:2016:p:1-2.
    13. Aldo Musacchio & André Carlos Martínez Fritscher & Martina Viarengo, 2010. "Colonial Institutions, Trade Shocks, and the Diffusion of Elementary Education in Brazil, 1889-1930," Harvard Business School Working Papers 10-075, Harvard Business School, revised Dec 2012.
    14. Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2009. "Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist's Companion," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 8769.
    15. Philippe Aghion & Xavier Jaravel & Torsten Persson & Dorothée Rouzet, 2019. "Education and Military Rivalry," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 17(2), pages 376-412.
    16. Timothy J. Hatton, 2011. "Infant mortality and the health of survivors: Britain, 1910–50," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 64(3), pages 951-972, August.
    17. Musacchio, Aldo & Fritscher, André Martínez & Viarengo, Martina, 2014. "Colonial Institutions, Trade Shocks, and the Diffusion of Elementary Education in Brazil, 1889–1930," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 74(3), pages 730-766, September.
    18. John R. Lott, Jr., 1999. "Public Schooling, Indoctrination, and Totalitarianism," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages 127-157, December.
    19. Peter Lindert, 2004. "Social Spending and Economic Growth," Challenge, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(4), pages 6-16.
    20. Cvrcek, Tomas & Zajicek, Miroslav, 2019. "The making of a liberal education: Political economy of the Austrian school reform, 1865 – 1880," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 1-1.
    21. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2008. "Stature and Status: Height, Ability, and Labor Market Outcomes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(3), pages 499-532, June.
    22. Foster, Andrew D & Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1996. "Technical Change and Human-Capital Returns and Investments: Evidence from the Green Revolution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 931-953, September.
    23. Lee, Jong-Wha & Lee, Hanol, 2016. "Human capital in the long run," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 147-169.
    24. Bodenhorn, Howard & Guinnane, Timothy W. & Mroz, Thomas A., 2017. "Sample-Selection Biases and the Industrialization Puzzle," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 171-207, March.
    25. Gomes, Pedro & Machado, Matilde P., 2020. "Literacy And Primary School Expansion In Portugal: 1940-62," Revista de Historia Económica / Journal of Iberian and Latin American Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 38(1), pages 111-145, March.
    26. Sylvie Moulin & Michael Kremer & Paul Glewwe, 2009. "Many Children Left Behind? Textbooks and Test Scores in Kenya," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 112-135, January.
    27. Francisco A. Gallego, 2010. "Historical Origins of Schooling: The Role of Democracy and Political Decentralization," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(2), pages 228-243, May.
    28. Lindert, Peter H., 2003. "Voice and Growth: Was Churchill Right?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(2), pages 315-350, June.
    29. Robert C. Allen, 2008. "A Review of Gregory Clark's A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(4), pages 946-973, December.
    30. Timothy J. Hatton, 2011. "Infant mortality and the health of survivors: Britain, 1910–50," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 64(3), pages 951-972, August.
    31. Koepke, Nikola & Baten, Joerg, 2005. "The biological standard of living in Europe during the last two millennia," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(1), pages 61-95, April.
    32. Robert D. Tollison, 1982. "Rent Seeking: A Survey," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 575-602, November.
    33. Carl‐Johan Dalgaard & Holger Strulik, 2016. "Physiology and Development: Why the West is Taller Than the Rest," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(598), pages 2292-2323, December.
    34. Hatton, Timothy J. & Martin, Richard M., 2010. "Fertility decline and the heights of children in Britain, 1886-1938," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 505-519, October.
    35. Testa, Patrick A., 2018. "Education and propaganda: Tradeoffs to public education provision in nondemocracies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 66-81.
    36. Lindert, Peter H., 2010. "The unequal lag in Latin American schooling since 1900: follow the money," Revista de Historia Económica / Journal of Iberian and Latin American Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 28(2), pages 375-405, September.
    37. Erik Meyersson, 2014. "Islamic Rule and the Empowerment of the Poor and Pious," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82(1), pages 229-269, January.
    38. Lott, John R, Jr, 1990. "An Explanation for Public Provision of Schooling: The Importance of Indoctrination," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 199-231, April.
    39. Baten Jörg, 2000. "Heights and Real Wages in the 18th and 19th Centuries: An International Overview," Jahrbuch für Wirtschaftsgeschichte / Economic History Yearbook, De Gruyter, vol. 41(1), pages 61-76, June.
    40. Lindert, Peter H., 2003. "Voice and Growth: Was Churchill Right?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(02), pages 315-350, June.
    41. Yvonne Stolz & Joerg Baten & Jaime Reis, 2013. "Portuguese living standards, 1720–1980, in European comparison: heights, income, and human capital," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 66(2), pages 545-578, May.
    42. Raphaël Franck & Noel D. Johnson, 2016. "Can public policies lower religiosity? Evidence from school choice in France, 1878–1902," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 69(3), pages 915-944, August.
    43. Komlos, John & Kelly, Inas (ed.), 2016. "The Oxford Handbook of Economics and Human Biology," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199389292.
    44. Philippe Aghion & Xavier Jaravel & Torsten Persson & Dorothée Rouzet, 2019. "Education and Military Rivalry," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 17(2), pages 376-412.
    45. Robert Jensen, 2010. "The (Perceived) Returns to Education and the Demand for Schooling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(2), pages 515-548.
    46. James M. Buchanan & Richard A. Musgrave, 1999. "Public Finance and Public Choice: Two Contrasting Visions of the State," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262024624, December.
    47. Boppart, Timo & Falkinger, Josef & Grossmann, Volker & Woitek, Ulrich & Wüthrich, Gabriela, 2013. "Under which conditions does religion affect educational outcomes?," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 242-266.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Alexandra L. Cermeño & Nuno Palma & Renato Pistola, 2021. "Stunting and Wasting in a Growing Economy: Biological Living Standards in Portugal during the Twentieth Century," Economics Discussion Paper Series 2110, Economics, The University of Manchester, revised Apr 2022.
    2. Tomas Cvrcek & Miroslav Zajicek, 2019. "The rise of public schooling in nineteenth-century Imperial Austria: Who gained and who paid?," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 13(3), pages 367-403, September.
    3. Cermeño, Alexandra & Palma, Nuno Pedro G. & Pistola, Renato, 2021. "Stunting and wasting in a growing economy: biological living standards in Portugal, 1924-1994," CEPR Discussion Papers 16617, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Cvrcek, Tomas & Zajicek, Miroslav, 2019. "The making of a liberal education: Political economy of the Austrian school reform, 1865 – 1880," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 1-1.
    5. Kedrosky, Davis & Palma, Nuno, 2021. "The Cross of Gold: Brazilian Treasure and the Decline of Portugal," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 574, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Cinnirella, Francesco & Schueler, Ruth, 2018. "Nation building: The role of central spending in education," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 18-39.
    2. Cinnirella, Francesco & Hornung, Erik, 2016. "Landownership concentration and the expansion of education," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 135-152.
    3. Tomas Cvrcek & Miroslav Zajicek, 2019. "The rise of public schooling in nineteenth-century Imperial Austria: Who gained and who paid?," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 13(3), pages 367-403, September.
    4. Montalbo, Adrien, 2021. "Schools without a law: Primary education in France from the Revolution to the Guizot Law," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 79(C).
    5. Kammas, Pantelis & Sakalis, Argyris & Sarantides, Vassilis, 2021. "Pudding, plague and education: trade and human capital formation in an agrarian economy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 112206, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. Madsen, Jakob Brøchner & Strulik, Holger, 2020. "Testing unified growth theory: Technological progress and the child quantity-quality tradeoff," University of Göttingen Working Papers in Economics 393, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    7. Andersson, Jens & Berger, Thor, 2016. "Elites and the Expansion of Education in 19th-century Sweden," Lund Papers in Economic History 149, Lund University, Department of Economic History.
    8. Peter H. Lindert, 2017. "The Rise and Future of Progressive Redistribution," Commitment to Equity (CEQ) Working Paper Series 73, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
    9. Marco-Gracia, Francisco J. & Puche, Javier, 2021. "The association between male height and lifespan in rural Spain, birth cohorts 1835-1939," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 43(C).
    10. Muhammad Qahraman Kakar, 2021. "Ethnic Disparities, Women Education and Empowerment in South Asia," Erudite Ph.D Dissertations, Erudite, number ph21-01 edited by Manon Domingues Dos Santos, Winter.
    11. Chaudhary, Latika & Musacchio, Aldo & Nafziger, Steven & Yan, Se, 2012. "Big BRICs, weak foundations: The beginning of public elementary education in Brazil, Russia, India, and China," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 221-240.
    12. Gallardo-Albarrán, Daniel, 2018. "Health and economic development since 1900," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 228-237.
    13. Testa, Patrick A., 2018. "Education and propaganda: Tradeoffs to public education provision in nondemocracies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 66-81.
    14. Daron Acemoglu & Suresh Naidu & Pascual Restrepo & James A. Robinson, 2013. "Democracy, Redistribution and Inequality," NBER Working Papers 19746, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Belmonte, Alessandro, 2020. "State Capacity, Schooling, and Fascist Education: Evidence from the Reclamation of the Pontine Marshes," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 528, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    16. Erik Hornung, 2012. "Humankapital, technologische Diffusion und Wachstum - Entwicklung in Preußen," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 46, September.
    17. Schneider, Eric B. & Ogasawara, Kota, 2018. "Disease and child growth in industrialising Japan: Critical windows and the growth pattern, 1917–39," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 64-80.
    18. Bailey, Roy E. & Hatton, Timothy J. & Inwood, Kris, 2016. "Atmospheric Pollution and Child Health in Late Nineteenth Century Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 10428, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    19. Cain Polidano & Justin van de Ven & Sarah Voitchovsky, 2017. "The Power of Self-Interest: Effects of Education and Training Entitlements in Later-Life," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2017n12, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    20. Ciccarelli, Carlo & De Fraja, Gianni & Vuri, Daniela, 2021. "Effects of passive smoking on prenatal and infant development: Lessons from the past," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 42(C).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Anthropometrics; economic history of education; political economy of development; public schooling provison;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N34 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: 1913-
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:12811. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://www.cepr.org .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://www.cepr.org .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.