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A Brief History of Education in the United States

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  • Claudia Goldin

Abstract

This essay is the companion piece to about 550 individual data series on education to be included in the updated Historical Statistics of the United States, Millennial Edition (Cambridge University Press 2000, forthcoming). The essay reviews the broad outlines of U.S. educational history from the nineteenth century to the present, including changes in enrollments, attendance, schools, teachers, and educational finance at the three main schooling levels -- elementary, secondary, and higher education. Data sources are discussed at length, as are issues of comparability across time and data reliability. Some of the data series are provided, as is a brief chronology of important U.S. educational legislation, judicial decisions, and historical time periods.

Suggested Citation

  • Claudia Goldin, 1999. "A Brief History of Education in the United States," NBER Historical Working Papers 0119, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberhi:0119
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Goldin, Claudia, 1998. "America's Graduation from High School: The Evolution and Spread of Secondary Schooling in the Twentieth Century," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(02), pages 345-374, June.
    2. Easterlin, Richard A., 1981. "Why Isn't the Whole World Developed?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(01), pages 1-17, March.
    3. Bishop, John Hillman, 1989. "Is the Test Score Decline Responsible for the Productivity Growth Decline?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 178-197, March.
    4. Nathan S. Balke & Robert J. Gordon, 1986. "The Estimation of Prewar GNP Volatility, 1869-1938," NBER Working Papers 1999, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • N3 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy

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