Escaping_from_a_human_capital_trap_Italy

Escaping_from_a_human_capital_trap_Italy - Escaping from a...

Info icon This preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
1 Escaping from a human capital trap? Italy’s regions and the move to centralized primary schooling, 1861 1936 Gabriele Cappelli Universität Tübingen (Faculty of Business and Economics) Chair of Economic history Melanchthonstraße 30, (Room 105) 72074 Tübingen [email protected] +49 (0) 7071 - 29 78 161 This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in the European Review of Economic History following peer review. The version of record is available online via Oxford University Press Abstract The role played by public policy in the development of Italy’s human capital in the late nineteenth century and the Interwar period has long remained unexplored by quantitative economic history. This paper explores whether a system of decentralized primary education slowed down regional convergence in schooling, since poor and backward areas could not afford to invest a suitable amount of resources in education. It also investigates whether a more centralized system introduced in 1911 fostered the developme nt of basic education and reduced the country’s regional disparities. The analysis confirms the existence of such a human capital trap, and shows that centralized primary education fostered the development of Italy’s schooling in the Interwar period.
Image of page 1

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
2 1. Introduction Human capital is a central determinant of economic performance. One line of research, dating back to the work of Lucas and Romer, suggests that a more educated labour force greatly improves a country’s rate of growth ( Lucas, 1988, Romer, 1990). However, theoretical models seldom provide insight into the way that human capital actually affects economic performance (Thirlwall, 2005, Todaro and Smith, 2011). A more long-term perspective has allowed researchers to identify some of the mechanisms linking human capital and growth. For example, Becker et al. maintain that an inverse relationship between fertility and human capital is responsible for the presence of different growth equilibriums across countries (Becker, Murphy and Tamura, 1990). This has recently become a key feature of Unified Growth Theory, the aim of which is to merge different stages of economic development into a single and comprehensive model of growth (Galor, 2005). Goldin and Katz put forward the notion that education is likely to supply skills that are required in order to meet the demand generated by technological progress (Goldin and Katz, 2007). Other work using a historical perspective provide further insights into the way that education and human capital can promote economic growth. In spite of different (and not necessarily mutually exclusive) views on the issue, improved human capital prompted by the Enlightenment might explain why the Industrial Revolution was mainly a European phenomenon (Landes, 1999, Mokyr, 2004 and Mokyr, 2010).
Image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern