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Education and Military Rivalry

Author

Listed:
  • Philippe Aghion

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CDF - Collège de France - CdF - Collège de France)

  • Xavier Jaravel

    (LSE - London School of Economics and Political Science)

  • Torsten Persson

    (Stockholm University, CIFAR)

  • Dorothée Rouzet

    (OCDE - Organisation de Coopération et de Développement Economiques)

Abstract

What makes countries engage in reforms of mass education? Motivated by historical evidence on the relation between military threats and expansions of primary education, we assemble a panel dataset from the last 150 years in European countries and from the postwar period in a large set of countries. We uncover three stylized facts: (i) investments in education are associated with military threats, (ii) democratic institutions are negatively correlated with education investments, and (iii) education investments respond more strongly to military threats in democracies. These patterns continue to hold when we exploit rivalries in a country's neighborhood as an alternative source of variation. We develop a theoretical model that rationalizes the three empirical findings. The model has an additional prediction about investments in physical infrastructures, which finds support in the data.

Suggested Citation

  • Philippe Aghion & Xavier Jaravel & Torsten Persson & Dorothée Rouzet, 2018. "Education and Military Rivalry," Post-Print halshs-01883574, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-01883574
    DOI: 10.1093/jeea/jvy022
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01883574
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    JEL classification:

    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • F52 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - National Security; Economic Nationalism
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General

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