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Tertiary Education and Prosperity: Catholic Missionaries to Luminosity in India

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  • Castelló-Climent, Amparo

    () (Universidad de Valencia)

  • Chaudhary, Latika

    () (Naval Postgraduate School)

  • Mukhopadhyay, Abhiroop

    () (Indian Statistical Institute)

Abstract

This paper estimates the causal impact of tertiary education on luminosity across Indian districts. We address the potential endogeneity of tertiary education using the location of Catholic missionaries in 1911 as an instrument for current tertiary education. We find Catholic missionaries have a large and positive impact on tertiary education. Catholics were not at the forefront of tertiary education in colonial India, but they established many high quality colleges following Indian independence. Controlling for a rich set of geographical and historical characteristics, we find a positive causal effect of tertiary education on development, as measured by light density at night. The findings are robust to different measures of development, and are not driven by alternative channels through which missionaries could impact current income.

Suggested Citation

  • Castelló-Climent, Amparo & Chaudhary, Latika & Mukhopadhyay, Abhiroop, 2015. "Tertiary Education and Prosperity: Catholic Missionaries to Luminosity in India," IZA Discussion Papers 9441, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9441
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    human capital; Catholic missionaries; subregional analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • N35 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Asia including Middle East
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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