The Economic History of Education

Authored by: David Mitch

Routledge Handbook of Modern Economic History

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  January  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415677042
eBook ISBN: 9780203075616
Adobe ISBN: 9781135121211


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That humans would make provision for the development of their offspring is to be expected, given the length of time between birth and maturity we experience as a species. And there is evidence from early in recorded human history of provision for apprenticeship and markets in training and instruction. Nevertheless, it is only in the last few centuries that provision of formal instruction and schooling has become widespread and indeed has become a gauge of potential for economic development. Economists since Adam Smith, if not earlier, have argued that the performance of an economy has been influenced by the education of its work force (Johnson 1937). These developments call for consideration of both the causes and consequences of the rise of education in historical perspective.

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