Go, Sun and Park, Ki-Joo (2012) The elite-biased growth of elementary schooling in colonial Korea. In: Modern and comparative economic history seminar, 11 October 2012, London School of Economics and Political Science.
Two conventional views on the development of public elementary schooling in colonial Korea fail to explain why the increase in the public school enrollment rate was limited. Rather than the conventional views - the ideological-device theory and the self- empowerment theory -- we offer an alternative theory based on the elite-biased growth of colonial public schools. The alternative theory was tested using newly constructed province and county level data. The empirical results support the view that the rise of Korean public elementary schooling was biased toward elites during the colonial period. Local Korean elites chose to pay more fees for their own children, instead of paying tax for everyone. The elites also successfully limited the opportunities for public schooling through the discretionary admission process.
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