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The impact of school provision on pupil attendance: evidence from the early 20th century

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  • MacKinnon, Mary
  • Minns, Chris

Abstract

Elementary schooling in North America in the early 20th century underwent major changes with the spread of graded schools with multiple classrooms and teachers to semi-urban and rural areas. Detailed schooling records from British Columbia indicate that pupil attendance responded strongly to the introduction of additional teachers in one-room schools. The attendance impact of grading a school dominated alternatives such as employing more highly qualified teachers, or building additional schools to reduce catchment areas. Changes in the provision of schooling can account for about a quarter of the 30 percentage point increase in attendance rates between 1900 and 1930.

Suggested Citation

  • MacKinnon, Mary & Minns, Chris, 2009. "The impact of school provision on pupil attendance: evidence from the early 20th century," Economic History Working Papers 27863, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:wpaper:27863
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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/27863/
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Philip Oreopoulos, 2006. "The compelling effects of compulsory schooling: evidence from Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 39(1), pages 22-52, February.
    2. Goldin, Claudia & Katz, Lawrence F., 2000. "Education and Income in the Early Twentieth Century: Evidence from the Prairies," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(03), pages 782-818, September.
    3. Goldin, Claudia, 2001. "The Human-Capital Century And American Leadership: Virtues Of The Past," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 61(02), pages 263-292, June.
    4. Goldin, Claudia, 1998. "America's Graduation from High School: The Evolution and Spread of Secondary Schooling in the Twentieth Century," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(02), pages 345-374, June.
    5. David Card & Alan B. Krueger, 1992. "School Quality and Black-White Relative Earnings: A Direct Assessment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 151-200.
    6. J. C. Herbert Emery & Clint Levitt, 2002. "Cost of living, real wages and real incomes in thirteen Canadian cities, 1900-1950," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 35(1), pages 115-137, February.
    7. Moehling, Carolyn M., 2004. "Family structure, school attendance, and child labor in the American South in 1900 and 1910," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 73-100, January.
    8. Galenson, David W, 1995. "Educational Opportunity on the Urban Frontier: Nativity, Wealth, and School Attendance in Early Chicago," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(3), pages 551-563, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N0 - Economic History - - General
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education

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