Colonization and Education: Exploring the Legacy of Local Elites in Korea

27 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2018

See all articles by Ji Yeon Jean Hong

Ji Yeon Jean Hong

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) - School of Science

Christopher Paik

New York University (NYU) - New York University Abu Dhabi

Date Written: August 2018

Abstract

In this article we examine the impact of pre‐colonial educated elites and colonization on modernization. Using the case of Joseon, as Korea was known before being colonized by Japan in 1910, we investigate how the civil exam system and scholarly traditions, as well as the provision of public schools under Japanese colonial rule, influenced levels of literacy in the colony. We introduce novel data from Joseon's historical court examination archives, colonial education records, and censuses dating back to 1930. Our findings suggest that the spread of Korean literacy during the early colonial period was strongly correlated with the historical presence of civil exam passers from the Joseon Dynasty. Regions with a greater presence of educated elites later had higher numbers of Korean teachers, as well as more private schools established as alternatives to the colonial public schools.

Suggested Citation

Hong, Ji Yeon Jean and Ppaik, Christopher, Colonization and Education: Exploring the Legacy of Local Elites in Korea (August 2018). The Economic History Review, Vol. 71, Issue 3, pp. 938-964, 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3212415 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ehr.12538

Ji Yeon Jean Hong (Contact Author)

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) - School of Science ( email )

Room 6515, 6/F, Lifts 25/26
Clear Water Bay
Kowloon
Hong Kong

Christopher Ppaik

New York University (NYU) - New York University Abu Dhabi ( email )

PO Box 129188
20 Cooper Square 3rd Floor
Abu Dhabi, NY 10003-711
United Arab Emirates

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