The objective of this article is to study the links between the funding of primary education, access to education and economic growth in France in the 19th century. To do this, we use information on the funding allocated by the state, départements, local authorities, and households over the period 1820-1913. Our analysis consists of two stages. Firstly, we analyse the evolution of these different types of funding over time, employing outlier methodology to detect any breaks in the series. Next, we study the causal relationships between the different types of funding, the number of children enrolled in primary education and gross domestic product. Over the period studied, our results confirm that mass access to education is primarily driven by political will and is then explained by the increase in wealth available in the economy.
- primary education
- nineteenth century