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The Technological Origins of the High School Movement

  • Kim, Se-Um

This paper argues that the emergence of knowledge hierarchies in the modern U.S. firms since the late 19th century, expedited by huge progress in communication technology, played a significant role in the expansion of mass secondary education called the high school movement in the U.S. in the early 20th century. To analyze the causal connections among these historical events, the paper presents a dynamic model in which the complementarity between individual skills is crucial to production. Middle-skilled individuals could help increase the payoff to the high-skilled by supervising low-skilled production workers as middle managers in firms, and so some of potential top managers with high skill actively supported the expansion of mass education to the secondary level some time after a sophisticated form of production organizations had started to emerge. This theoretical explanation is consistent with the existing historical evidence in the literature.

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File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/12087/1/MPRA_paper_12087.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 12087.

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Date of creation: 20 Oct 2008
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:12087
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  1. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2004. "From Physical to Human Capital Accumulation: Inequality and the Process of Development," GE, Growth, Math methods 0410005, EconWPA.
  2. Luis Garicano & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2006. "Organization and Inequality in a Knowledge Economy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1383-1435.
  3. Edward Glaeser & Giacomo Ponzetto & Andrei Shleifer, 2006. "Why Does Democracy Need Education?," NBER Working Papers 12128, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Christian Morrisson & Fabrice Murtin, 2009. "The century of education," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28281, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Katz, Lawrence & Goldin, Claudia, 2000. "Education and Income in the Early Twentieth Century: Evidence from the Prairies," Scholarly Articles 2766688, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Pol Antras & Luis Garicano & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2006. "Organizing Offshoring: Middle Managers and Communication Costs," 2006 Meeting Papers 133, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Claudia Goldin, 2001. "The Human Capital Century and American Leadership: Virtues of the Past," NBER Working Papers 8239, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2005. "From Education to Democracy?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 44-49, May.
  9. Kochar, Anjini, 2008. "Schooling, wages and profits: Negative pecuniary externalities from schooling and their consequences for schooling investments," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 76-95, April.
  10. repec:adr:anecst:y:1998:i:49-50:p:02 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Matthias Doepke & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2005. "The Macroeconomics of Child Labor Regulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1492-1524, December.
  12. Galiani, Sebastian & Heymann, Daniel & Dabús, Carlos & Tohmé, Fernando, 2008. "On the emergence of public education in land-rich economies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 434-446, June.
  13. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2007. "Knowledge hierarchies in the labor market," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 137(1), pages 104-126, November.
  14. Luis Garicano & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2006. "The Knowledge Economy at the Turn of the Twentieth Century: The Emergence of Hierarchies," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 396-403, 04-05.
  15. Oded Galor, 2004. "From Stagnation to Growth: Unified Growth Theory," GE, Growth, Math methods 0409003, EconWPA.
  16. Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer & Vollrath, Dietrich, 2008. "Inequality in Land Ownership, the Emergence of Human Capital Promoting Institutions and the Great Divergence," CEPR Discussion Papers 6751, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Bourguignon, F. & Verdier, T., 1997. "Oligarchy, Democracy, Inequality and Growth," DELTA Working Papers 97-10, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  18. Francesco Caselli & Nicola Gennaioli, 2003. "Dynastic Management," NBER Working Papers 9442, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. 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.
  20. Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer, 2001. "Das Human Kapital," CEPR Discussion Papers 2701, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  21. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2004. "Das Human Kapital: A Theory of the Demise of the Class Structure," GE, Growth, Math methods 0410003, EconWPA.
  22. Lawrence F. Katz & Claudia Goldin, 2001. "The Legacy of U.S. Educational Leadership: Notes on Distribution and Economic Growth in the 20th Century," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 18-23, May.
  23. Gilat Levy, 2005. "The Politics of Public Provision of Education," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1507-1534.
  24. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52.
  25. Daron Acemoglu, 2007. "Oligarchic Versus Democratic Societies," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 47, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  26. Goldin, Claudia, 1999. "Egalitarianism and the Returns to Education during the Great Transformation of American Education," Scholarly Articles 2623652, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  27. Su, Xuejuan, 2006. "Endogenous determination of public budget allocation across education stages," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 438-456, December.
  28. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Manuel Trajtenberg, 1992. "General Purpose Technologies "Engines of Growth?"," NBER Working Papers 4148, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Philippe Aghion & Peter Howitt, 1998. "On the Macroeconomic Effects of Major Technological Change," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 49-50, pages 53-75.
  30. Gilat Levy, 2005. "The politics of public provision of education," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 940, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  31. repec:adr:anecst:y:1998:i:49-50 is not listed on IDEAS
  32. David, Paul A, 1990. "The Dynamo and the Computer: An Historical Perspective on the Modern Productivity Paradox," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 355-61, May.
  33. Francesco Caselli & Nicola Gennaioli, 2005. "Credit Constraints, Competition, and Meritocracy," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 679-689, 04/05.
  34. Mark Gradstein, 2008. "Institutional Traps And Economic Growth," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(3), pages 1043-1066, 08.
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