Primary education and economic growth in nineteenth-century France
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-10, 05:21 authored by Adrien MontalboAdrien Montalbo
In this article, I investigate the long run relationship between education, industrialisation and growth. I evaluate the impact of primary schooling on the economic development of France between the 1830s and 1914. To do so, I rely on very precise data on education at the level of municipalities. I instrument educational achievements, namely enrolment rates and schooling years, by the proximity of municipalities to printing presses established before 1500. This method returns a positive impact of an early high educational achievement on growth during the nineteenth century. This indicates a positive effect of the acquisition of basic education and elementary skills on the development of French municipalities. Therefore, the accumulation of human capital within primary schools contributed positively to growth during the nineteenth century and up to World War I, the core period of modernisation and industrialisation in France.
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