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Nation-Building and Education

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  • Alberto Alesina
  • Paola Giuliano
  • Bryony Reich

Abstract

Nations stay together when citizens share enough values and preferences and can communicate with each other. Democracies and dictatorships have different incentives when it comes to choosing how much and by what means to homogenize the population, i.e. “to build a nation”. We study and compare nation-building policies under the transition from dictatorship to democracy in a model where the location and type of government and the borders of the country are endogenous. We find that the threat of democratization provides the strongest incentive to homogenize. We focus upon a specific nation-building policy: the provision of mass primary education. As a motivation, we offer historical discussions of several episodes in the nineteenth century and suggestive correlations for a large sample of countries over the 1925-2014 period.

Suggested Citation

  • Alberto Alesina & Paola Giuliano & Bryony Reich, 2013. "Nation-Building and Education," NBER Working Papers 18839, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18839
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    Cited by:

    1. Hauk, Esther & Ortega, Javier, 2015. "Schooling, Nation Building, and Industrialization: A Gellnerian Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 9048, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Ralph Hippe & Roger Fouquet, 2015. "The human capital transition and the role of policy," GRI Working Papers 185, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    3. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2014. "Fertility and Modernity," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0779, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
    4. Diwan, Ishac & Vartanova, Irina, 2020. "Does education indoctrinate?," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 78(C).
    5. Richard M. Bird & Eric M. Zolt, 2014. "Taxation and inequality in the Americas: Changing the fiscal contract?," Chapters, in: Richard M. Bird & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez (ed.), Taxation and Development: The Weakest Link?, chapter 7, pages 193-237, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Richard M. Bird, 2014. "Sustainable development requires a good tax system," Chapters, in: Richard M. Bird & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez (ed.), Taxation and Development: The Weakest Link?, chapter 1, pages 1-24, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    7. Bird, Richard M. & Zolt, Eric M., 2015. "Fiscal Contracting in Latin America," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 323-335.

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    JEL classification:

    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance

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