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Education Performance: Was It All Determined 100 Years Ago? Evidence From São Paulo, Brazil

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  • de Carvalho Filho, Irineu
  • Colistete, Renato P.

Abstract

This paper deals with institutional persistence in long-term economic development. We investigate the historical record of education in one of the fastest growing and most unequal societies in the twentieth century – the state of São Paulo, Brazil. Based on historical data from an agricultural census and education statistics, we assess the role played by factors such as land concentration, immigration and type of economic activity in determining supply and demand of education during the early twentieth century, and to what degree these factors help explain current educational performance and income levels. We find a positive and enduring effect of the presence of foreign-born immigrants on the supply of public instruction, as well as a negative effect of land concentration. Immigrant farm-laborers established their own community schools, and pressured for public funding for those schools or for public schools. The effects of early adoption of public instruction can be detected more than one hundred years later in the form of better test scores and higher income per capita. These results are suggestive of an additional mechanism generating inequality across regions: the places that received immigration from countries with an established public education system benefited from an earlier adoption of the revolutionary idea of public education.

Suggested Citation

  • de Carvalho Filho, Irineu & Colistete, Renato P., 2010. "Education Performance: Was It All Determined 100 Years Ago? Evidence From São Paulo, Brazil," MPRA Paper 24494, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:24494
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/24494/1/MPRA_paper_24494.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Rudi Rocha & Claudio Ferraz & Rodrigo R. Soares, 2017. "Human Capital Persistence and Development," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 105-136, October.
    2. de Carvalho Filho, Irineu & Monasterio, Leonardo, 2012. "Immigration and the origins of regional inequality: Government-sponsored European migration to southern Brazil before World War I," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(5), pages 794-807.
    3. Renato Colistete & Maria Lucia Lamounier, 2014. "Land Inequality in a Coffee Economy: São Paulo During the Early Twentieth Century," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2014_01, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).
    4. Chaudhary, Latika & Musacchio, Aldo & Nafziger, Steven & Yan, Se, 2012. "Big BRICs, weak foundations: The beginning of public elementary education in Brazil, Russia, India, and China," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 221-240.
    5. André Martínez-Fritscher & Aldo Musacchio & Martina Viarengo, 2010. "The Great Leap Forward: The Political Economy Of Education In Brazil, 1889-1930," Working Papers 03-2010, Universidade de São Paulo, Faculdade de Economia, Administração e Contabilidade de Ribeirão Preto.
    6. Musacchio, Aldo & Fritscher, André Martínez & Viarengo, Martina, 2014. "Colonial Institutions, Trade Shocks, and the Diffusion of Elementary Education in Brazil, 1889–1930," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 74(03), pages 730-766, September.
    7. Kendrick, Neil, 2013. "Educação para todos –“free to those who can afford it”: human capital and inequality persistence in 21st c Brazil," Economic History Working Papers 50970, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
    8. Johan Fourie & Dieter Fintel, 2014. "Settler skills and colonial development: the Huguenot wine-makers in eighteenth-century Dutch South Africa," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 67(4), pages 932-963, November.
    9. Bruno Gabriel Witzel de Souza, 2016. "Subsidies to the History of the German-Speaking Immigration to the Province / State of São Paulo, Brazil (1840-1920)," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 233, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
    10. Bruno Gabriel Witzel de Souza, 2016. "Immigration and the Path-Dependence of Education: German-Speaking Immigrants, On-the-Job Skills, and Ethnic Schools in São Paulo, Brazil (1840-1920)," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 234, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
    11. Stolz, Yvonne & Baten, Jörg & Botelho, Tarcísio, 2011. "Growth effects of 19th century mass migrations: "Fome Zero" for Brazil," University of Tuebingen Working Papers in Economics and Finance 20, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public education; Brazil; Economic History; Economic Development; Coffee; Immigration; Land Inequality; Toryism;

    JEL classification:

    • N16 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity

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