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Elites and the expansion of education in nineteenth-century Sweden

Andersson, Jens LU and Berger, Thor LU (2019) In Economic History Review 72(3). p.897-924
Abstract
A large literature emphasizes that elite capture of political institutions hampered the spread of mass schooling in the nineteenth and twentieth century. We collect new data on investments in elementary education and the distribution of voting rights for more than 2,000 local governments in nineteenth‐century Sweden and document that educational expenditure was higher where the distribution of political power was more unequal. In particular, areas governed by local landed elites—even those where a single landowner had de jure dictatorial powers—invested substantially more in mass schooling relative to areas where political power was more widely shared, or where it lay in the hands of capitalist elites. Our findings lend quantitative... (More)
A large literature emphasizes that elite capture of political institutions hampered the spread of mass schooling in the nineteenth and twentieth century. We collect new data on investments in elementary education and the distribution of voting rights for more than 2,000 local governments in nineteenth‐century Sweden and document that educational expenditure was higher where the distribution of political power was more unequal. In particular, areas governed by local landed elites—even those where a single landowner had de jure dictatorial powers—invested substantially more in mass schooling relative to areas where political power was more widely shared, or where it lay in the hands of capitalist elites. Our findings lend quantitative support to an earlier literature produced by economic and social historians which argues that landed elites advanced mass schooling as part of their historical role as patrons of the local community and as a response to the increasing proletarianization of the rural population, while also furthering our understanding of how Sweden maintained a high level of human capital despite its low level of economic development and restricted franchise in the nineteenth century. (Less)
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author
and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Economic History Review
volume
72
issue
3
pages
897 - 924
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • scopus:85052371454
ISSN
1468-0289
DOI
10.1111/ehr.12738
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
6230abc8-e484-460c-90a0-ed80e553bdc2
date added to LUP
2018-08-31 16:14:00
date last changed
2020-10-07 06:00:10
@article{6230abc8-e484-460c-90a0-ed80e553bdc2,
  abstract     = {A large literature emphasizes that elite capture of political institutions hampered the spread of mass schooling in the nineteenth and twentieth century. We collect new data on investments in elementary education and the distribution of voting rights for more than 2,000 local governments in nineteenth‐century Sweden and document that educational expenditure was higher where the distribution of political power was more unequal. In particular, areas governed by local landed elites—even those where a single landowner had de jure dictatorial powers—invested substantially more in mass schooling relative to areas where political power was more widely shared, or where it lay in the hands of capitalist elites. Our findings lend quantitative support to an earlier literature produced by economic and social historians which argues that landed elites advanced mass schooling as part of their historical role as patrons of the local community and as a response to the increasing proletarianization of the rural population, while also furthering our understanding of how Sweden maintained a high level of human capital despite its low level of economic development and restricted franchise in the nineteenth century.},
  author       = {Andersson, Jens and Berger, Thor},
  issn         = {1468-0289},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {897--924},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Economic History Review},
  title        = {Elites and the expansion of education in nineteenth-century Sweden},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ehr.12738},
  doi          = {10.1111/ehr.12738},
  volume       = {72},
  year         = {2019},
}