Globalization and the Rise of Mass Education—Introduction

  • Gabriele CappelliEmail author
  • David Mitch
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Economic History book series (PEHS)


This chapter outlines the relationship between globalization and education by presenting several potential factors linking the two aspects. First, existing evidence on the evolution of national school systems is presented. Secondly, an interpretative framework to connect global socioeconomic and political forces with local and national educational developments is discussed, based on migrations, trade, evolving institutions, colonialism and the activity of missions. Next, this framework is used to present the individual chapters of the book, with a broad geographical scope including countries in the Southern and Northern European periphery, North America and Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. The last section sums up the main results and briefly presents remaining gaps that future research should fill.


Globalization Global forces Local conditions Human capital Education Mass schooling Migration Integration Diversity Literacy Numeracy Enrollment Trade Returns to schooling Incentives Missions Colonial Elites 



We want to thank the authors of this volume. Their contributions have made this project possible, and the outcome reflects their professionalism, expertise and deep knowledge of the subject. We truly appreciate the time, effort and motivation that they put in writing the chapters, even when under the pressure of time. We thank all the participants of the Stellenbosch, Kyoto and Boston World Economic History Congresses, where some of the material included in the book was first presented. We are particularly grateful to Latika Chaudhary Hartmann, who discussed some of the papers at our session “The Impact of Globalization on the Rise of Mass Schooling,” co-organized with Sun Go, at the World Economic History Congress in Boston (2018). We also wish to thank our editors at Palgrave Macmillan—Laura Pacey, Clara Heathcock and Ruth Noble—for believing in this project, and for solid assistance and support during the writing of the book. Gabriele Cappelli also acknowledges financial support from the Spanish Ministry for Science and Innovation, project HAR2016-76814-C2-1-P, as well as the Swedish Research Council, project 2016-05230.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics and StatisticsUniversity of SienaSienaItaly
  2. 2.Economics DepartmentUniversity of MarylandSilver SpringUSA

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