Colonial Institutions, Commodity Booms, and the Diffusion of Elementary Education in Brazil, 1889-1930

36 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2014

See all articles by Aldo Musacchio

Aldo Musacchio

Brandeis University- International Business School; National Bureau of Economic Research

Andre Martinez

Banco de México

Martina Viarengo

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID); Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Date Written: April 2014

Abstract

We explain how the decentralization of fiscal responsibility among Brazilian states between 1889 and 1930 promoted a unequal expansion in public schooling. We document how the variation in state export tax revenues, product of commodity booms, explains increases in expenditures on education, literacy, and schools per children. Yet we also find that such improvements did not take place in states that either had more slaves before abolition or cultivated cotton during colonial times. Beyond path-dependence, ours story emphasizes the interaction between colonial institutions and subsequent fiscal changes to explain radical changes in the ranking of states which persists until today.

Suggested Citation

Musacchio, Aldo and Martinez Fritscher, Andre C. and Viarengo, Martina, Colonial Institutions, Commodity Booms, and the Diffusion of Elementary Education in Brazil, 1889-1930 (April 2014). NBER Working Paper No. w20029. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2424600

Aldo Musacchio (Contact Author)

Brandeis University- International Business School ( email )

415 South Street MC 32
Waltham, MA 02454-9110
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
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HOME PAGE: http://www.nber.org/people/aldo_musacchio

Andre C. Martinez Fritscher

Banco de México ( email )

Av. 5 de Mayo 18
Piso 4
Mexico City, 06059
Mexico

Martina Viarengo

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) ( email )

Maison de la paix
Chemin Eugène-Rigot 2
Geneva, 1202
Switzerland

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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