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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1506308
 
 

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Catch Me If You Can: Education and Catch-Up in the Industrial Revolution


Sascha O. Becker


University of Warwick; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); Ifo Institute for Economic Research

Erik Hornung


Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Department Human Capital and Innovation

Ludger Woessmann


Ifo Institute for Economic Research; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research); University of Munich - Ifo Institute for Economic Research


IZA Discussion Paper No. 4556

Abstract:     
Existing evidence, mostly from British textile industries, rejects the importance of formal education for the Industrial Revolution. We provide new evidence from Prussia, a technological follower, where early-19th-century institutional reforms created the conditions to adopt the exogenously emerging new technologies. Our unique school-enrollment and factory-employment database links 334 counties from pre-industrial 1816 to two industrial phases in 1849 and 1882. Controlling extensively for pre-industrial development, we use pre-industrial education as an instrument to identify variation in later education that is exogenous to industrialization itself. We find that basic education significantly accelerated non-textile industrialization in both phases of the Industrial Revolution.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 56

Keywords: human capital, industrialization, Prussian economic history

JEL Classification: N13, N33, I20, O14

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Date posted: November 17, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Becker, Sascha O. and Hornung, Erik and Woessmann, Ludger, Catch Me If You Can: Education and Catch-Up in the Industrial Revolution. IZA Discussion Paper No. 4556. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1506308

Contact Information

Sascha O. Becker (Contact Author)
University of Warwick ( email )
Gibbet Hill Rd.
Coventry, West Midlands CV4 8UW
United Kingdom
Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom
CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)
Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany
HOME PAGE: http://sobecker.de
Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany
Ifo Institute for Economic Research
Munich
Germany
Erik Hornung
Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance ( email )
Marstallplatz 1
Munich, 80539
Germany
CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Department Human Capital and Innovation ( email )
Poschingerstr. 5
Munich, 81679
Germany
Ludger Woessmann
Ifo Institute for Economic Research ( email )
Poschingerstr. 5
Munich
Germany
++49 89 9224 1699 (Phone)
++49 89 9224 1460 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.cesifo.de/link/woessmann_l.htm
Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany
CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)
Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany
University of Munich - Ifo Institute for Economic Research
Schackstr. 4
Munich, 80539
Germany
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