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Education and Military Rivalry

Author

Listed:
  • Philippe Aghion
  • Torsten Persson
  • Dorothee Rouzet

Abstract

Using data from the last 150 years in a small set of countries, and from the postwar period in a large set of countries, we show that large investments in state primary education systems tend to occur when countries face military rivals or threats from their neighbors. By contrast, we find that democratic transitions are negatively associated with education investments, while the presence of democratic political institutions magnifies the positive effect of military rivalries. These empirical results are robust to a number of statistical concerns and continue to hold when we instrument military rivalries with commodity prices or rivalries in a certain country's immediate neighborhood. We also present historical case studies, as well as a simple model, that are consistent with the econometric evidence.

Suggested Citation

  • Philippe Aghion & Torsten Persson & Dorothee Rouzet, 2012. "Education and Military Rivalry," NBER Working Papers 18049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18049
    Note: POL
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    More about this item

    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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