Public Mass Modern Education and Inter-Religious Human Capital Differentials in Twentieth-Century Egypt
Public mass modern education was a major pillar of state-led development in the post-Colonial developing world. I examine the impact of Egypt’s transformation in 1953 of traditional elementary schools (kuttabs), which served the masses, into public modern primary schools on the Christian-Muslim educational and occupational differentials, which were in favor of Christians. The reform allowed kuttabs’ graduates access to higher stages of education, which were confined to modern primary schools’ graduates. Exploiting the variation in exposure to the reform across cohorts and districts of birth among adult males in 1986, I find that the reform reduced the inter-religious socioeconomic differentials.
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