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The century of education

  • Christian Morrisson

    (UP1 - Université Paris 1, Panthéon-Sorbonne - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne - PRES HESAM)

  • Fabrice Murtin

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - École normale supérieure [ENS] - Paris, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)

This paper presents a historical database on educational attainment in 74 countries for the period 1870-2010, using perpetual inventory methods before 1960 and then the Cohen and Soto (2007) database. The correlation between the two sets of average years of schooling in 1960 is equal to 0.96. We use a measurement error framework to merge the two databases, while correcting for a systematic measurement bias in Cohen and Soto (2007) linked to differential mortality across educational groups. Descriptive statistics show a continuous spread of education that has accelerated in the second half of the twentieth century. We find evidence of fast convergence in years of schooling for a sub-sample of advanced countries during the 1870-1914 globalization period, and of modest convergence since 1980. Less advanced countries have been excluded from the convergence club in both cases.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series PSE Working Papers with number halshs-00586751.

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Date of creation: May 2009
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Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00586751
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  1. Fabrice Murtin & Martina Viarengo, 2008. "The convergence of compulsory schooling in Western Europe: 1950-2000," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 23311, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Alan Krueger & Mikael Lindahl, 2000. "Education for Growth: Why and For Whom?," Working Papers 808, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  3. Portela, Miguel & Alessie, Rob & Teulings, Coen, 2004. "Measurement Error in Education and Growth Regressions," IZA Discussion Papers 1165, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Blundell, R. & Bond, S., 1995. "Initial Conditions and Moment Restrictions in Dynamic Panel Data Models," Economics Papers 104, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  5. de la Fuente, Angel & Doménech, Rafael, 2000. "Human Capital In Growth Regressions: How Much Difference Does Data Quality Make?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2466, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Murtin, Fabrice & Wacziarg, Romain, 2011. "The Democratic Transition," CEPR Discussion Papers 8599, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Murtin, Fabrice & Viarengo, Martina, 2009. "American Education in the Age of Mass Migrations 1870-1930," IZA Discussion Papers 3964, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Isaac Ehrlich & Jinyoung Kim, 2004. "The Evolution of Income and Fertility Inequalities over the Course of Economic Development: A Human Capital Perspective," NBER Working Papers 10890, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. François Bourguignon & Christian Morrisson, 2002. "Inequality Among World Citizens: 1820-1992," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 727-744, September.
  10. Scott L. Baier & Gerald P. Dwyer & Robert Tamura, 2006. "How Important are Capital and Total Factor Productivity for Economic Growth?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 44(1), pages 23-49, January.
  11. Daniel Cohen & Marcelo Soto, 2001. "Growth and Human Capital: Good Data, Good Results," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 179, OECD Publishing.
  12. Bourguignon, Francois & Verdier, Thierry, 2000. "Oligarchy, democracy, inequality and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 285-313, August.
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