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State Intervention in English Education, 1833-1891: A Public Goods and Agency Approach

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  • Martin West

Abstract

By anachronistically attributing the origin and growth of popular education entirely to state intervention, standard histories of state education have failed to delimit sufficiently the states role in educational development. This paper offers a theoretically based examination of the British states intervention in the emerging market for popular education in England during the nineteenth century. It complements conventional neoclassical analysis with recent developments from the fields of methodological individualism and new institutional economics to identify the specific reasons the state first became involved in mass education. The eventual national system of state-provided, free elementary schools, managed by local representative bodies and funded in part through local rates is re-conceptualized as an imperfect solution to problems inherent in achieving an optimal level of schooling in the emerging mass market for education.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin West, 2000. "State Intervention in English Education, 1833-1891: A Public Goods and Agency Approach," Economics Series Working Papers 2000-W37, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:2000-w37
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    File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/papers/2273/37west.pdf
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    1. David F. Mitch, 1986. "The Impact of Subsidies to Elementary Schooling on Enrolment Rates in Nineteenth-century England," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 39(3), pages 371-391, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Martin R. West & Ludger Woessmann, 2010. "'Every Catholic Child in a Catholic School': Historical Resistance to State Schooling, Contemporary Private Competition and Student Achievement across Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(546), pages 229-255, August.
    2. Jane Humphries & Tim Leunig, 2007. "Cities, Market Integration and Going to Sea: Stunting and the Standard of Living in Early Nineteenth-Century England and Wales," Economics Series Working Papers 2007-W66, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    3. Regina Grafe & Camilla Brautaset, 2006. "The Quiet Transport Revolution: Returns to Scale, Scope and Network Density in Norway`s Nineteenth-Century Sailing Fleet," Economics Series Working Papers 2006-W62, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    4. Mohammad Niaz Asadullah, 2006. "Educational Disparity in East and West Pakistan, 1947-71: Was East Pakistan Discriminated Against?," Economics Series Working Papers 2006-W63, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    5. James Malcomson & Martin Chalkley, 2001. "Cost Sharing in Health Service Provision: An Empirical Assessment of Cost Savings," Economics Series Working Papers 69, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.

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