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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1759315
 
 

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Big BRICs, Weak Foundations: The Beginning of Public Elementary Education in Brazil, Russia, India, and China


Latika Chaudhary


Claremont Colleges - Scripps College - Department of Economics

Aldo Musacchio


Brandeis University- International Business School; Harvard Business School - Business, Government and the International Economy Unit; National Bureau of Economic Research

Steven Nafziger


Williams College

Se Yan


Peking University - Guang Hua School of Management

July 21, 2011

Harvard Business School BGIE Unit Working Paper No. 11-083

Abstract:     
Our paper provides a comparative perspective on the development of public primary education in four of the largest developing economies circa 1910: Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC). These four countries encompassed more than 50 percent of the world’s population in 1910, but remarkably few of their citizens attended any school by the early 20th century. We present new, comparable data on school inputs and outputs for BRIC drawn from contemporary surveys and government documents. Recent studies emphasize the importance of political decentralization, and relatively broad political voice for the early spread of public primary education in developed economies. We identify the former and the lack of the latter to be important in the context of BRIC, but we also outline how other factors such as factor endowments, colonialism, serfdom, and, especially, the characteristics of the political and economic elite help explain the low achievement levels of these four countries and the incredible amount of heterogeneity within each of them.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 58

Keywords: Brazil, Russia, India, China, economic history, education, political economy, elites

JEL Classification: N30, O15, I22, I28

working papers series


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Date posted: February 13, 2011 ; Last revised: July 22, 2011

Suggested Citation

Chaudhary, Latika and Musacchio, Aldo and Nafziger, Steven and Yan, Se, Big BRICs, Weak Foundations: The Beginning of Public Elementary Education in Brazil, Russia, India, and China (July 21, 2011). Harvard Business School BGIE Unit Working Paper No. 11-083. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1759315 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1759315

Contact Information

Latika Chaudhary
Claremont Colleges - Scripps College - Department of Economics ( email )
1030 Columbia Avenue
Claremont, CA 91711
United States
Aldo Musacchio (Contact Author)
Brandeis University- International Business School ( email )
Mailstop 32
Waltham, MA 02454-9110
United States
Harvard Business School - Business, Government and the International Economy Unit ( email )
Soldiers Field Road
Boston, MA 02163
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.people.hbs.edu/amusacchio/
National Bureau of Economic Research ( email )
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.nber.org/people/aldo_musacchio
Steven Nafziger
Williams College ( email )
Williamstown, MA 01267
United States
Se Yan
Peking University - Guang Hua School of Management ( email )
Peking University
Beijing, Beijing 100871
China
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References:  139
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