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Politics as a determinant of primary school provision: the case of Uruguay

ISSNYear: 2021
AutorAuthor/s: Azar, Paola
EditorialEditorial: Cliometrica
This paper examines the relationship between school provision and the political power of the president in Uruguay between 1914 and 1954. The empirical analysis relies on fixed effects panel estimations based on newly compiled information about the partisan orientation of legislative members, electoral competition and schooling diffusion at the department-level. Ceteris paribus, I find an association between school provision and the need of government to capture votes or to obtain further legislative support. The resource allocation initially benefitted government’s core voter departments and shifted to favor non-loyal districts as an answer to the increasing intra-party political conflicts. Against the traditional historical narrative, the results point out to an influence of political interests on the diffusion of mass schooling and suggest the use of school provision as a pork barrel good over the period.
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