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The long-term cost of protectionism for education

Vincent Bignon () and Cecilia Garcia-Penalosa ()

Rue de la Banque, 2017, issue 47

Abstract: The long-term costs of protectionism are difficult to evaluate as very few countries have switched back to this economic policy after a long period of free trade. One country that did make the move was France in 1892, when the Chamber of Deputies, encouraged by the president of the customs commission, Jules Méline, decided to sharply raise cereal import duties. This decision slowed the upwards trend in education levels as it made farming jobs more attractive than manufacturing jobs, thereby reducing the relative return on an education. These findings are consistent with the theory of unified growth which associates demand for education with technological improvement. They also suggest that educational progress is reversible.

Date: 2017
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Working Paper: The long-term cost of protectionism for education (2017)
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