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The political economy of educational content and development: lessons from history

Cantoni, Davide and Yuchtman, Noam (2013) The political economy of educational content and development: lessons from history. Journal of Development Economics, 104. pp. 233-244. ISSN 0304-3878

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2013.04.004

Abstract

Beyond years of schooling, educational content can play an important role in the process of economic development. Individuals' choices of educational content are often shaped by the political economy of government policies that determine the incentives to acquire various skills. We first present a model in which differences in human capital investments emerge as an equilibrium outcome of private decisions and government policy choices. We then illustrate these dynamics in two historical circumstances. In medieval Europe, states and the Church found individuals trained in Roman law valuable, and eventually supported productive investments in this new form of human capital. In late 19th-century China, elites were threatened by the introduction of Western science and engineering and continued to select civil servants—who enjoyed substantial rents—based on their knowledge of the Confucian classics; as a result, investments in productive, modern human capital were not made.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/journal-of-d...
Additional Information: © 2018 Elsevier B.V.
Divisions: Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
JEL classification: I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I2 - Education
N - Economic History > N3 - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Income, and Wealth > N30 - Economic History: Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Income and Wealth: General, International, or Comparative (Migration)
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O11 - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O4 - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity
Sets: Departments > Management
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2019 14:40
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2019 02:18
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/91507

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