- Inequality and Schooling Responses to Globalization Forces: Lessons from History
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- by Williamson, Jeffery G.
- In the first global century before 1914, trade and especially migration had profound effects on
both low-wage, labor abundant Europe and the high-wage, labor scarce New World. Those global
forces contributed to a reduction in unskilled labor scarcity in the New World and to a rise in
unskilled labor scarcity in Europe. Thus, it contributed to rising inequality in overseas countries,
like the United States, and falling inequality in most of Europe. Falling unskilled labor scarcity
and rising skill scarcity contributed to the high school revolution in the US. Rising unskilled
scarcity also contributed to the primary schooling and literacy revolution in Europe. Under what
conditions would we expect the same responses to globalization in today’s world? This paper
argues that modern debates about inequality and schooling responses to globalization should pay
more attention to history.
- Publication Type: WCFIA Working Paper
- Published Date: September 2006
- Field of Interest: Global Issues
- Williamson, Jeffrey G. "Inequality and Schooling Responses to
Globalization Forces: Lessons from History." Working Paper 2008-0137, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, September 2006.
- Paper presented at the Conference on Migration, Trade and Development, Dallas (October
6, 2006). This paper draws from a recent book with Timothy J. Hatton, Global Migration and the
World Economy: Two Centuries of Policy and Performance (MIT Press 2005). It has also been
influenced by participant’s comments at the Center for Global Development Workshop on
Emigration’s Impact on the Third World (September 11, 2006).