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Geography is not Destiny. Geography, Institutions and Literacy in England, 1837-1863

Gregory Clark () and Rowena Gray ()

No 15, Working Papers from European Historical Economics Society (EHES)

Abstract: Geography made rural society in the south-east of England unequal. Economies of scale in grain growing created a farmer elite and many landless labourers. In the pastoral north-west, in contrast, family farms dominated, with few hired labourers and modest income disparities. Engerman and Sokoloff (2012) argue that such differences in social structure between large plantations in the southern Americas, and family farming in the north, explain the rise of schooling in the north, and its absence in the south. We show, however, that rural literacy across England 1810-45 was not determined by geographically driven inequality. There were substantial differences in literacy by region, but driven by culture not geography. Geography is not destiny.

Keywords: Comparative regional history; European education history; human capital development (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: N93 N33 O15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 37 pages
Date: 2012-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-geo, nep-his and nep-ure
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (6) Track citations by RSS feed

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