Education and Economic Growth: The Statistical and Historical Record
A vast statistical literature lays claim to the notion that enhanced education can boost the incomes of individuals and of whole economies. A straightforward argument could be developed here using this received wisdom: the positive relationship between education (and not, as previously, planning and centralisation) and economic success in modern capitalist societies can be redirected for socialist purposes. But no such simple story is readily available. The lines of causation between education and economic advance at the social level are murkier and more complex than any confident reporting of significant statistical results might indicate: aggregative statistical procedures may not be an appropriate vehicle for reporting on this relationship in other than a generalised way. The reasons for these difficulties should not surprise us — education is deeply embedded in the fundamental structures of society; its nature and role raise issues of a basic kind concerning human development and even personality formation.
KeywordsEconomic Growth Technical Change Industrial Revolution White Collar Socialist Optimism
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