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The convergence of compulsory schooling in Western Europe: 1950-2000

Murtin, Fabrice and Viarengo, Martina (2008) The convergence of compulsory schooling in Western Europe: 1950-2000. CEE discussion papers (CEEDP0095). Centre for the Economics of Education, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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This paper examines the expansion of compulsory schooling in fifteen Western European countries over the period 1950-2000. We show that a convergence process of mandatory years of schooling has occurred across these countries since 1950. We argue that the major driver of this phenomenon is the existence of decreasing aggregate returns to education that have limited the extension of compulsory schooling. Then we test whether convergence still holds when confronted with other explanations described in the literature, which are respectively based on technology and trade, institutions, and the budget constraint of governments. Conditional convergence does hold and we find that openness has been another robust determinant of compulsory years of schooling, reflecting the need of education in an increasingly globalized world.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2008 The Authors
Divisions: Centre for Economic Performance
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
L Education > LA History of education
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2009 15:37
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 11:45

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