Cliometrics of Primary Education in the Long Nineteenth Century France

Claude Diebolt, Magali Jaoul-Grammare, Faustine Perrin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this article is to study the links between the financing of primary education, schooling and economic growth in France in the nineteenth century. To do so, we use information on the financing allocated by the State, the departments, the municipalities, and households over the period 1820–1913. Our analysis is in two stages. First, we analyse the evolution of these different types of financing over time, relying on the outliers’ methodology to detect the existence of possible breaks in the series. Next, we study the causal relationships between the different types of financing, the number of children enrolled in primary education and the gross domestic product. Over the period studied, our results confirm that mass schooling is primarily driven by political will, before being explained by the increase in wealth available in the economy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-69
JournalNordic Journal of Educational History
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Economic History

Free keywords

  • Primary education
  • Financing
  • Nineteenth century
  • France


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