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

59 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2009

See all articles by Sascha O. Becker

Sascha O. Becker

Monash University - Department of Economics; University of Warwick

Erik Hornung

University of Cologne - Center for Macroeconomic Research (CMR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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

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Date Written: October 2009

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.

Keywords: human capital, industrialization, Prussian economic history

JEL Classification: N13, N33, I20, O14

Suggested Citation

Becker, Sascha O. and Hornung, Erik and Woessmann, Ludger, Catch Me If You Can - Education and Catch-Up in the Industrial Revolution (October 2009). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 2816. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1488022

Sascha O. Becker

Monash University - Department of Economics ( email )

Wellington Road
Clayton, Victoria 3
Australia

University of Warwick ( email )

Gibbet Hill Rd.
Coventry, West Midlands CV4 8UW
United Kingdom

Erik Hornung

University of Cologne - Center for Macroeconomic Research (CMR) ( email )

Cologne
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Munich
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Ludger Woessmann (Contact Author)

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

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Munich, 80539
Germany

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