Landed elites and education provision in England: evidence from school boards, 1871‑99
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of Economic Growth, 2022. 10.1007/s10887-022-09215-3
I study the relationship between land concentration and the expansion of state education in 19C England. Using a broad range of education measures for 40 counties and 1,387 School Boards, I show a negative association between land concentration and local taxation, school expenditure, and human capital. I estimate reduced-form effects of 19C land concentration, geographic factor endowments, and the land redistribution after the Norman conquest of 1066. The negative effects on state-education supply are stronger where rural labour can easily migrate, where landowners had political power, is not offset by voluntary schooling, and not driven by a demand channel. This suggests that landowners opposed taxation in order to reduce state education provision.