|Cantoni, Davide; Yuchtman, Noam (January 2012): Educational Content, Educational Institutions and Economic Development: Lessons from History. Discussion Papers in Economics 2012-2|
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 to show how differences in educational content 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 investments in this new form of human capital. This had positive effects on Europe’s commercial and institutional development. In late 19th-century China, elites were afraid of the introduction of Western science and engineering and continued to select civil servants - who enjoyed substantial rents—based on their knowledge of Confucian classics. As a result, China lacked skills useful in modern industry. Finally, we present a variety of other contemporary and historical applications of this theory.
|Item Type:||Paper (Discussion Paper)|
|Keywords:||Educational Content, Educational Institutions, Political Economy, Development|
Economics > Munich Discussion Papers in Economics
Economics > Chairs > Chair of Economic History
|Subjects:||300 Social sciences > 300 Social sciences, sociology and anthropology|
300 Social sciences > 330 Economics
|JEL Classification:||N30, I25, O11, O43|
|Deposited On:||19. Jan 2012 13:59|
|Last Modified:||14. Jun 2016 10:43|
Acemoglu, Daron and James A. Robinson, “Why Did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality, and Growth in Historical Perspective,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2000, 115 (4), 1167–1199.
_ and _ , “The Persistence and Change of Institutions in the Americas,” Southern Economic Journal, 2008, 75 (2), 282–299.
_ and Simon Johnson, “Unbundling Institutions,” Journal of Political Economy, 2005, 113 (5), 949–995.
Aghion, Philippe, Leah Boustan, Caroline Hoxby, and Jerome Vandenbussche, “The Causal Impact of Education on Economic Growth: Evidence from U.S.,” March 2009. Unpublished.
Algan, Yann, Pierre Cahuc, and Andrei Shleifer, “Teaching Practices and Social Capital,” October 2011. Unpublished.
Alidosi, Giovanni, Li dottori bolognesi di legge canonica e civile dal principio di essi per tutto l’anno 1619, Bologna: Nicol`o Tebaldini, 1623.
Bai, Ying and James Kai-sing Kung, “Diffusing Useful Knowledge while Spreading God’s Message: Protestantism and Economic Prosperity in China, 1840–1920,” February 2011. Unpublished, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
Barro, Robert J. and Jong-Wha Lee, “A New Data Set of Educational Attainment in the World, 1950-2010,” NBER Working Paper Series, April 2010, 15902.
Benhabib, Jess and Mark M. Spiegel, “The Role of Human Capital in Economic Development: Evidence from Aggregate Cross-Country Data,” Journal of Monetary Economics, October 1994, 34 (2), 143–173.
Berman, Harold, Law and Revolution: The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1983.
Bisson, Thomas N., “The ‘Feudal Revolution’,” Past & Present, 1994, 142, 6–42.
Britnell, Richard H., The Commercialisation of English Society 1000–1500, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.
Buringh, Eltjo and Jan Luiten van Zanden, “Charting the ‘Rise of the West’: Manuscripts and Printed Books in Europe, ALong-Term Perspective from the Sixth through Eighteenth Centuries,” Journal of Economic History, 2009, 69 (2), 409–445.
Cantoni, Davide and Noam Yuchtman, “Medieval Universities, Legal Institutions, and the Commercial Revolution,” June 2010. Unpublished.
Chaney, Eric, “Tolerance, Religious Competition and the Rise and Fall of Muslim Science,” November 2008. Manuscript, Harvard University.
Chang, Chung-li, The Chinese Gentry: Studies on their Role in Nineteenth-Century Chinese Society, Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1955.
_ , The Income of the Chinese Gentry, Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1962.
Clots-Figueras, Irma and Paolo Masella, “Education, Language and Identity,” July 2009. Unpublished.
Coing, Helmut, “Die juristische Fakultät und ihr Lehrprogramm,” in Helmut Coing, ed., Handbuch der Quellen und Literatur der neueren europäischen Privatrechtsgeschichte, Vol. I, München: C.H. Beck, 1973, pp. 39–128.
Colliva, Paolo, “Bologna: Universitates,” in “Lexikon des Mittelalters,” Vol. II, München and Zürich: Artemis & Winkler, 1977–1999, p. 381.
Easterlin, Richard A., “Why Isn’t the Whole World Developed?,” Journal of Economic History, March 1981, 41 (1), 1–19.
Elman, Benjamin A., A Cultural History of Civil Examinations in Late Imperial China, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000.
_ , A Cultural History of Modern Science in Late Imperial China, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2006.
Engerman, Stanley L. and Kenneth L. Sokoloff, “The Evolution of Suffrage Institutions in the New World,” Journal of Economic History, 2005, 65 (4), 891–921.
_ , Elisa V. Mariscal, and Kenneth L. Sokoloff, “The Persistence of Inequality in the Americas: Schooling and Suffrage, 1800–1945,” 1999. Unpublished, University of California, Los Angeles.
Epstein, Stephan R., Freedom and Growth: The Rise of States and Markets in Europe 1300–1750, London: Routledge, 2000.
Friedman,Willa, Michael Kremer, Edward Miguel, and Rebecca Thornton, “Education as Liberation?,” NBER Working Paper Series, April 2011, 16939.
Galor, Oded and Omer Moav, “Das Human-Kapital: A Theory of the Demise of the Class Structure,” Review of Economic Studies, 2006, 73 (1), 85–117.
Georgi, Wolfgang, “Roncaglia,” in “Lexikon des Mittelalters,” Vol. VII, München and Zürich: Artemis & Winkler, 1977–1999, p. 1021.
Glaeser, Edward L., Rafael La Porta, Florencio Lopez de Silanes, and Andrei Shleifer, “Do Institutions Cause Growth?,” Journal of Economic Growth, 2004, 9, 271–303.
Goldin, Claudia, “The Human-Capital Century and American Leadership: Virtues of the Past,” Journal of Economic History, June 2001, 61 (2), 263–292.
_ and Lawrence F. Katz, “The Shaping of Higher Education: The Formative Years in the United States, 1890 to 1940,” Journal of Economic Perspectives, 1999, 13 (1), 37–62.
Greif, Avner, “Reputation and Coalitions in Medieval Trade: Evidence on the Maghribi Traders,” Journal of Economic History, 1989, 49, 857–882.
_ , “Contract Enforceability and Economic Institutions in Early Trade: The Maghribi Traders’ Coalition,” American Economic Review, June 1993, 83 (3), 525–548.
_ , “Self-Enforcing Political Systems and Economic Growth: Late Medieval Genoa,” in Robert H. Bates, Avner Greif, Margaret Levi, Jean-Laurent Rosenthal, and Barry R. Weingast, eds., Analytic Narratives, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1998, chapter 1, pp. 23–63.
_ , “Commitment, Coercion, and Markets: The Nature and Dynamics of Institutions Supporting Exchange,” in Claude Menard and Mary M. Shirley, eds., Handbook of New Institutional Economics, Norwell, Mass.: Kluwer, 2005, chapter 28, pp. 727–786.
_ , “Coercion and Exchange: How did Markets Evolve?,” 2008. Unpublished, Stanford University.
_ , “The Impact of Administrative Power on Political and Economic Development: Toward a Political Economy of Implementation,” in Elhanan Helpman, ed., Institutions and Economic Performance, Cambridge, Mass. and London: Harvard University Press, 2008, chapter 1, pp. 17–63.
Hanushek, Eric A. and Ludger Woessmann, “The Role of Cognitive Skills in Economic Development,” Journal of Economic Literature, September 2008, 46 (3), 607–668.
Headland, Isaac Taylor, Court Life in China: The Capital, its Officials and People, Champaign, IL: Project Gutenberg, n.d.
Heston, Alan, Robert Summers, and Bettina Aten, Penn World Table Version 7.0, University of Pennsylvania: Center for International Comparisons of Production, Income and Prices, May 2011.
Hon, Tze-Ki, “Zhang Zhidong’s Proposal for Reform: A New Reading of the Quanxue pian,” in Rebecca E. Karl and Peter Zarrow, eds., Rethinking the Reform Period. Political and Cultural Change in Late Qing China, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2002, chapter 3, pp. 77–98.
Huff, Toby E., The Rise of Early Modern Science. Islam, China and the West, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.
Jones, Benjamin F., “The Knowledge Trap: Human Capital and Development Reconsidered,” September 2011. Unpublished.
Jones, Charles I., “Time Series Tests of Endogenous Growth Models,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, May 1995, 110 (2), 495–525.
Karl, Rebecca E. and Peter Gue Zarrow, Rethinking the 1898 Reform Period: Political and Cultural Change in late Qing China, Vol. 214 of Harvard East Asian monographs, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Asia Center, 2002.
Krueger, Alan B. and Mikael Lindahl, “Education for growth: Why and for whom?,” Journal of Economic Literature, December 2001, 39 (4), 1101–1136.
Krueger, Dirk and Krishna B. Kumar, “Skill-Specific rather than General Education: A Reason for US-Europe Growth Differences,” Journal of Economic Growth, 2004, 9, 167–207.
Kuhn, Werner, Die Studenten der Universit¨at T¨ubingen zwischen 1477 und 1534; ihr Studium und ihre spätere Lebensstellung, Göppingen: Kuemmerle, 1971.
Lane, Kevin and Florian Pollner, “How to address China’s growing talent shortage,” McKinsey Quarterly, July 2008, 2008 (3), 33–40.
Lenoir, Timothy, “Revolution from Above: The Role of the State in Creating the German Research System, 1810-1910,” American Economic Review, May 1998, 88 (2), 22–27.
Lopez, Robert S., The Commercial Revolution of the Middle Ages, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976.
Ma, Debin, “Economic Growth in the Lower Yangzi Region of China in 1911–1937: A Quantitative and Historical Analysis,” Journal of Economic History, June 2008, 68 (2), 355–392.
Mankiw, N. Gregory, David Romer, and David N. Weil, “A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, May 1992, 107 (2), 407–437.
Mann, Michael, The Sources of Social Power. A History of Power from the Beginning to A.D. 1760, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986.
Martines, Lauro, Lawyers and statecraft in Renaissance Florence, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1968.
McMahon, Walter W., “The Social and External Benefits of Education,” in Geraint Johnes and Jill Johnes, eds., International Handbook on the Economics of Education, Cheltenham and Northhampton, Mass.: Edward Elgar, 2004, chapter 6, pp. 211–259.
Mitch, David, “The Role of Education and Skill in the British Industrial Revolution,” in Joel Mokyr, ed., The British Industrial Revolution: An Economic Perspective, Boulder, Colo.: Westview, 1999, chapter 5, pp. 241–279.
Mokyr, Joel, “The Intellectual Origins of Modern Economic Growth,” Journal of Economic History, 2005, 65 (2), 285–351.
Moraw, Peter, “Careers of Graduates,” in Hilde DeRidder-Symoens, ed., A History of the University in Europe: Universities in the Middle Ages, Vol. 1, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992, chapter 8, pp. 244–279.
Morgan, John, “Fears Made Flesh: Only STEM Teaching Grants Spared CSR Scythe,” Times Higher Education, 2010, 20 October.
Murphy, Kevin M., Andrei Shleifer, and Robert W. Vishny, “The Allocation of Talent: Implications for Growth,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, May 1991, 106 (2),503–530.
Naidu, Suresh, “Suffrage, Schooling, and Sorting in the Post-Bellum U.S. South,” September 2010. Unpublished, Columbia University.
Nardi, Paolo, “Relations with Authority,” in Hilde DeRidder-Symoens, ed., A History of the University in Europe: Universities in the Middle Ages, Vol. 1, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992, chapter 3, pp. 77–107.
Postan, Michael M., Medieval Trade and Finance, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1973.
Pritchett, Lant, “Where Has All the Education Gone?,” World Bank Economic Review, 2001, 15 (3), 367–391.
Psacharopoulos, George and Harry A. Patrinos, “Returns to Investment in Education: A Further Update,” Education Economics, 2004, 12 (2), 111–135.
Rashdall, Hastings, The Universities of Europe in the Middle Ages, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1895.
Rawski, Thomas G., Economic Growth in Prewar China, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989.
Romer, Paul M., “Should the Government Subsidize Supply or Demand in the Market for Scientists and Engineers?,” in Adam B. Jaffe, Josh Lerner, and Scott Stern, eds., Innovation Policy and the Economy, Vol. 1, NBER, 2001, pp. 221–252.
R¨ uegg, Walter, “Themes,” in Hilde DeRidder-Symoens, ed., A History of the University in Europe: Universities in the Middle Ages, Vol. 1, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992, chapter 1, pp. 3–34.
Smith, Adam, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, London: W. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1776.
Stelling-Michaud, Sven, Les juristes suisses ´a Bologne, 1255-1330; notices biographiques et regestes des actes bolonais, Geneva: Droz, 1960.
Swanson, Robert Norman, Universities, Academics, and the Great Schism, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979.
Tilly, Charles, Coercion, Capital, and European States, AD 990–1990, Oxford: Blackwell, 1990.
Tsinghua University, Who’s Who of American Returned Students 1917.
van Zanden, Jan Luiten, “Why the European Economy Expanded Rapidly in a Period of Political Fragmentation,” in Jan Luiten van Zanden, ed., The Long Road to the Industrial Revolution, Leiden: Brill, 2009, chapter 2, pp. 32–68.
Vandenbussche, Jer ˆome, Philippe Aghion, and Costas Meghir, “Growth, Distance to Frontier and Composition of Human Capital,” Journal of Economic Growth, June 2006, 11 (2), 97–127.
Verger, Jacques, “Universität,” in “Lexikon des Mittelalters,” Vol. VII, München and Zürich: Artemis & Winkler, 1977–1999, p. 1249.
Vinogradoff, Paul, Roman Law in Medieval Europe, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1929.
von Savigny, Friedrich Karl, Geschichte des römischen Rechts im Mittelalter, 2nd ed., Heidelberg: Mohr, 1834.
Weimar, Peter, “Bologna: Rechtsschule von Bologna,” in “Lexikon des Mittelalters,” Vol. II, München and Zürich: Artemis & Winkler, 1977–1999, p. 374.
Weston, Timothy B., “The Founding of the Imperial University and the Emergence of Chinese Modernity,” in Rebecca E. Karl and Peter Zarrow, eds., Rethinking the Reform Period. Political and Cultural Change in Late Qing China, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2002, chapter 4, pp. 99–123.
Wieacker, Franz, Privatrechtsgeschichte der Neuzeit. Unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der deutschen Entwicklung, 2nd ed., Vol. (English translation: A History of Private Law in Europe; With Particular Reference to Germany. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995.), Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1967.
Yan, Se, “Real Wages and Skill Premia in China, 1858-1936, Evidence from the China Maritime Customs Archives,” 2007. Manuscript.
Yuchtman, Noam, “Teaching to the Tests: An Economic Analysis of Educational Institutions in Late Imperial and Republican China,” October 2010. Unpublished, University of California, Berkeley.