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The Century of Education

Christian Morrisson and Fabrice Murtin
Journal of Human Capital
Vol. 3, No. 1 (Spring 2009), pp. 1-42
DOI: 10.1086/600102
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/600102
Page Count: 42
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Abstract

This paper presents a historical database on educational attainment in 74 countries for the period 1870–2010, using perpetual inventory methods before 1960 and then the Cohen and Soto database. We use a measurement error framework to merge the two databases, while correcting for a systematic measurement bias in Cohen and Soto's study linked to differential mortality across educational groups. Descriptive statistics show a continuous spread of education that has accelerated in the second half of the twentieth century. We find evidence of fast convergence in years of schooling for a subsample of advanced countries during the 1870–1914 globalization period and of modest convergence since 1980. Less advanced countries have been excluded from the convergence club in both cases.

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