Did education sustain economic growth during the Industrial Revolution?

Invitada: María José Fuentes Doctora y Magíster en Historia Económica de la Universidad de Barcelona. Actualmente es Teaching Fellow del Departamento de Historia Económica de la Universidad de Barcelona.


In this paper, we empirically address the role of education as a factor of growth by analyzing the link between the growth of per-capita GDP and schooling rates across the provinces (today’s NUTS3) of four European countries during the Second Industrial Revolution, i.e. in the period 1870 – 1950. Based on various empirical

tests, we show that the initial characteristics of leaders are important in the sense that there are significant effects on economic growth. In addition, preliminary results suggest that more education is associated with more rapid industrialization and economic growth across Europe’s regions, particularly in the Interwar period (1910 – 1950).