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How history matters for student performance. lessons from the Partitions of Poland

Paweł Bukowski

Journal of Comparative Economics, 2019, vol. 47, issue 1, 136-175

Abstract: This paper examines the effect on current student performance of the 19th century Partitions of Poland among Austria, Prussia and Russia. Using a regression discontinuity design, I show that student test scores are 0.6 standard deviations higher on the Austrian side of the former Austrian-Russian border, despite the modern similarities of the three regions. However, I do not find evidence for differences across the Prussian-Russian border. Using a theoretical model and indirect evidence, I argue that the Partitions have persisted through their impact on social norms toward local schools. Nevertheless, the persistent effect of Austria is puzzling, given the historical similarities of the Austrian and Prussian education systems. I argue that the differential legacy of Austria and Prussia originates from the Austrian Empire’s policy to promote Polish identity in schools and the Prussian Empire’s efforts to Germanize the Poles through education.

JEL-codes: N30 I20 O15 J24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:47:y:2019:i:1:p:136-175

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