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Immigration and the Path-Dependence of Education: German-Speaking Immigrants, On-the-Job Skills, and Ethnic Schools in São Paulo, Brazil (1840-1920)

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    This paper studies the impact of German-speaking immigrants on the path dependence of human capital accumulation in the State São Paulo, Brazil. Using a new dataset based on Almanacs from 1873 and 1888, we are able to test if (i) the cultural component, (ii) immigrants' on-the-job-skills, and (iii) their ethnic schools influenced the historical accumulation of human capital. No robust evidence was found for the first two explanations. On the other hand, for the 1910s, German schools had strong positive impacts on enrollment, not only for private, but also for state schools, a result which suggests the occurrence of spillover and contagion effects. Such impact tends, however, to dissipate over time and it does not survive for current educational performance. In addition, the paper shows that the pathdependence of education is conditional on the type of school: while there is a positive persistence in enrollment in private schools over the 20th century, enrollment in state schools depends negatively on its historical levels, reflecting convergence toward 100% enrollment rates in primary schooling. Furthermore, current stocks of human capital, measured by illiteracy and years of education, are shown to be strongly impacted by completion and enrollment in state schools back in the 1910s.

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    File URL: http://www2.vwl.wiso.uni-goettingen.de/ibero/working_paper_neu/DB234.pdf
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    Paper provided by Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research in its series Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers with number 234.

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    Length: 36 pages
    Date of creation: 09 Feb 2016
    Handle: RePEc:got:iaidps:234
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    1. Sascha O. Becker & Ludger Woessmann, 2009. "Was Weber Wrong? A Human Capital Theory of Protestant Economic History," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 531-596.
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    9. Summerhill, William, 2010. "Colonial Institutions, Slavery, Inequality, and Development: Evidence from São Paulo, Brazil," MPRA Paper 22162, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
    11. Nathan Nunn, 2009. "The Importance of History for Economic Development," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 65-92, May.
    12. Daron Acemoglu & Francisco A. Gallego & James A. Robinson, 2014. "Institutions, Human Capital, and Development ," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 6(1), pages 875-912, August.
    13. Stolz, Yvonne & Baten, Jörg & Botelho, Tarcísio, 2011. "Growth effects of 19th century mass migrations: "Fome Zero" for Brazil," University of Tuebingen Working Papers in Economics and Finance 20, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences.
    14. de Carvalho Filho, Irineu & Colistete, Renato P., 2010. "Education Performance: Was It All Determined 100 Years Ago? Evidence From São Paulo, Brazil," MPRA Paper 24494, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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