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The convergence process of compulsory schooling in Western Europe: 1950-2000

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  • Fabrice Murtin

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CREST - Centre de Recherche en Économie et Statistique - ENSAI - Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Analyse de l'Information [Bruz] - X - École polytechnique - ENSAE ParisTech - École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique)

  • Martina Viarengo

    (LSE - London School of Economics and Political Science)

Abstract

This paper examines the expansion of compulsory schooling in fifteen Western European countries over the period 1950-2000. We show that a convergence process of mandatory years of schooling has occurred across these countries since 1950. We argue that the major driver of this phenomenom is the existence of diminishing returns to education that limit the extension of compulsory schooling. Then we test whether convergence still holds when one controls for the major three alternative explanations described in the literature, which are respectively based on technology and trade, institutions, and the budget constraint of governments. Conditional convergence does hold and we find that openness, membership of the European Union, urbanization and illiteracy rates are other significant determinants of compulsory years of schooling over this period.

Suggested Citation

  • Fabrice Murtin & Martina Viarengo, 2007. "The convergence process of compulsory schooling in Western Europe: 1950-2000," PSE Working Papers halshs-00588053, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00588053
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00588053
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    Cited by:

    1. Raquel Fonseca Benito & Yuhui Zheng, 2011. "The Effect of Education on Health Cross-Country Evidence," Working Papers WR-864, RAND Corporation.
    2. Brunello, Giorgio & Weber, Guglielmo & Weiss, Christoph T., 2012. "Books Are Forever: Early Life Conditions, Education and Lifetime Income," IZA Discussion Papers 6386, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Raquel Fonseca Benito & Yuhui Zheng, 2011. "The Effect of Education on Health Cross-Country Evidence," Working Papers 864, RAND Corporation.
    4. Elizabeth Cascio & Damon Clark & Nora Gordon, 2008. "Education and the Age Profile of Literacy into Adulthood," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(3), pages 47-70, Summer.
    5. Garrouste, Christelle, 2010. "100 years of educational reforms in Europe: a contextual database," MPRA Paper 31853, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. repec:wly:econjl:v:127:y:2017:i:600:p:271-296 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Giorgio Brunello & Guglielmo Weber & Christoph T. Weiss, 2017. "Books are Forever: Early Life Conditions, Education and Lifetime Earnings in Europe," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(600), pages 271-296, March.

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    Keywords

    economic history; education; convergence;

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