Joerg Baten

Joerg Baten
University of Tuebingen | EKU Tübingen · Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences

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202
Publications
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Publications

Publications (202)
Article
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Does higher female autonomy increase human capital formation? To find out, we employ novel data on numeracy as a proxy for human capital and the demographic indicator female age at marriage as a measure for female autonomy for 27 countries and 153 regions in Europe between 1500 and 1900. Our empirical analysis shows that countries and regions with...
Article
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A'Hearn, Delfino, and Nuvolari recently argued in this journal that the indicator function of age heaping for education, and numeracy in particular, is quite limited. In contrast, we show empirically that by applying the methodological elements that were developed over the past decade, age-heaping-based numeracy research can be an important tool fo...
Article
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To what extent did sub-Saharan Africa's twentieth century schooling revolution benefit boys and girls equally? Using census data and a cohort approach, we examine gender gaps in years of education over the twentieth century at world region, country and district levels. First, we find that compared to other developing regions, Africa had a small ini...
Article
Full-text available
How can we trace early African development? The share of rulers’ known birth year has been identified as an indicator of elite numeracy in African regions since 1400, and the share of murdered rulers allows us to gain insights into interpersonal violence behaviour of African elites. From this emerges a dynamic picture of quantitative African histor...
Article
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This article traces inequality and numeracy development in the regions of Chile during the 19th and early 20th century. Inequality, measured with anthropometric methods, was associated with a lower speed of human capital formation. Not all talents received the necessary education to make full use of their talent for the regional economy, especially...
Article
This article traces inequality and numeracy development in the regions of Chile during the 19th and early 20th century. Inequality, measured with anthropometric methods, was associated with a lower speed of human capital formation. Not all talents received the necessary education to make full use of their talent for the regional economy, especially...
Article
Full-text available
Our research expands earlier studies on elite human capital by widening the geographic scope and tracing the early roots of the European divergence. We present new evidence of elite numeracy in Europe since the sixth century CE. During the early medieval period, Western Europe had no advantage over the east, but the development of relative violence...
Article
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We assess the relationship between land inequality and human capital at the end of the early modern period, focusing on individual-level evidence from Spain. Our main finding is that land inequality had already had a significant negative effect on the formation of human capital there in the late-seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. We argue that t...
Article
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We present new evidence for elite violence using regicide, the killing of kings, and investigate the role of the state in European violence between the 6th and 19th centuries. First, regicide is critically assessed as a proxy for interpersonal elite violence. Second, we propose ‘territorial state capacity’ as a measure of states being able to keep...
Article
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This study presents new evidence on the anthropometric development of 47 countries. Did colonialism have an influence on the biological standard of living of Africans? We find that Africans lost stature upon colonization, even after controlling for a number of different variables and potential sample selectivity bias issues. We analyse various type...
Article
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Historical evidence of numeracy on the African continent since the 18th century is presented for the first time based on a panel dataset of 43 African countries covering the periods before, during and after colonialism (1730–1970). Estimates of numeracy draw on the age-heaping methodology: we carefully discuss the potential biases and sources of me...
Preprint
Full-text available
Vikings-the Scandinavian seafaring populations that dominated the North Seas between the eighth and eleventh centuries CE-are usually described as pirates and warriors living in a highly aggressive society. But was this really the case? How violent were the Vikings among themselves? In this study, we compare the share of cranial trauma and weapon w...
Preprint
To what extent did sub-Saharan Africa’s 20th century schooling revolution benefit boys and girls equally? Using census data and a cohort approach, we examine gender gaps in years of education over the 20th century at world region, country and district levels. First, we find that compared to other developing regions, Africa had a small initial educa...
Preprint
Full-text available
How can we trace early African development? The share of rulers’ known birth year has been identified as an indicator of elite numeracy in African regions since 1400, and the share of murdered rulers allows us to gain insights into interpersonal violence behaviour of African elites. From this emerges a dynamic picture of quantitative African histor...
Research
Full-text available
To what extent was the 20 th century schooling revolution in sub-Saharan Africa shared equally between men and women? We examine trajectories of educational gender inequality over the 20th century, using census data from 21 African countries and applying a birth-cohort approach. We present three sets of findings. First, compared to other developing...
Article
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This study is based on a large data set project that aims at collecting heights for 165 countries around the world between 1810 and 1984, for five year birth cohorts. The first finding is that the anthropometric divergence between rich and poor countries started around 1880, right in the middle of the first globalization period. However, height dif...
Article
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We assess the numeracy (age heaping) of religious minorities, particularly Jews, and other defendants of the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions, and compare it with the general Iberian population. Our database includes 13,000 individuals who took part in Inquisition trials, and 17,000 individuals recorded in censuses and parish registers who serve...
Preprint
Full-text available
We develop a new indicator for elite numeracy in order to investigate trends in European elite numeracy since the 6th century CE and describe its co-evolution with elite violence over this period. During the early medieval period, Western Europe had no advantage over the east, but the development of relative violence levels changed this. After impl...
Article
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We study height trends among Chinese, South Korean, and Taiwanese groups during the rapid economic growth period of the 1960s to the 1980s. Heights rose strongly as income grew. Did rapid income growth also cause a decline in gender inequality? Or did it rise because the gains were unevenly distributed? Gender inequality is particularly interesting...
Article
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Scandinavian countries currently have very high values of female autonomy. Was this already the case in Viking Times? In this study, we trace the roots of gender equality in the Scandinavian periphery over the past two millennia. We evaluate and recommend a new measure of early gender equality: relative enamel hypoplasia values of males and females...
Chapter
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Skeletal remains potentially allow us to measure the intensity of interpersonal violence, learning how it may have changed over time or differed across subgroups of the population. We argue that cranial trauma and weapon wounds on any part of skeletal remains were often the result of interpersonal violence. Our main indicator is the proportion of i...
Research
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Many countries did not accumulate sufficient human capital to be successful, because they did not make use of the potential of the female half of their population. Other countries did the opposite and became “superstars” and pioneers in long-term economic development. This view is supported by studying female autonomy and numeracy indicators of 27...
Article
Cambridge Core - Global History - A History of the Global Economy - edited by Joerg Baten
Article
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We find a relationship between geographic factors and numeracy in more than 300 regions of Europe around the year 1900. We argue that the distribution of land ownership is a plausible mechanism, given that it is related to the geographic factors under study. Consistent with theoretical studies in the Unified Growth Theory framework, we find that in...
Article
Global Inequality: A New Approach for the Age of Globalization. By Branko Milanovic. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2016. Pp. 320. $29.95, hardcover. - Volume 78 Issue 1 - Jörg Baten
Article
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We trace the development of human capital in today’s Senegal, Gambia, and Western Mali between 1770 and 1900. European trade, slavery and early colonialism were linked to human capital formation, but this connection appears to have been heterogeneous. The contact with the Atlantic slave trade increased regional divergence, as the coast of Senegambi...
Article
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Compulsory licensing allows governments to license patented inventions without the consent of patent owners. Intended to mitigate the potential welfare losses from enforcing foreign-owned patents, many developing countries use this policy to improve access to drugs that are covered by foreign-owned patents. The effects of compulsory licensing on ac...
Article
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How did human capital develop in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and other eastcentral and eastern European countries? We trace the development of a specific human capital indicator during this period: numeracy. We draw upon new evidence for Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania, and Russia, controlling for potential selectivity issues. Numeracy s...
Article
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The Nobel laureate Angus Deaton concentrated his work on puzzling developments and phenomena in economics. Puzzles are exciting elements in economics, because readers feel challenged by the question of how they can be solved. Among the puzzles analyzed by Deaton are: (1) Mortality increase of white, U.S. non-Hispanic men (2000 to today); (2) Why ar...
Working Paper
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How did colonialism interact with the development of human capital in Africa? We create an innovative panel dataset on numeracy across African countries before, during and after the Scramble for Africa (1730 – 1970) by drawing on new sources and by carefully assessing potential selection bias. The econometric evidence that we provide, based on OLS,...
Working Paper
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Does the shift from subsistence agriculture to a specialization in cash-crop production affect human capital? We assess the influence of the rapid expansion of the cultivation of cash crops for export in the mid and late 19th century Philippines, with a focus on the increase or decline of basic numeracy. Based on the historiography, we expect the e...
Article
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In this article, we provide comprehensive insights into the implementation and the use of the age-heaping method. Age heaping can be applied to approximate basic numerical skills and hence basic education. We discuss the advantages and potential issues of different indicators, and we show the relationship of those indicators with literacy and schoo...
Article
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Did the early development of skills and numerical abilities occur primarily in urban centers and among the elite groups of society? In this study, we assess the human capital of different occupational groups in the early modern period and partially confirm this finding: the skilled and professional groups had higher skills than persons in unskilled...
Chapter
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This chapter traces global trends in physical stature from the Neolithic Agricultural Revolution to modern times. There were major cycles in nutritional status and hence in the biological standard of living that can be documented beginning with the Agricultural Revolution when heights decreased markedly as nutrition became less diversified and less...
Article
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In this study, we assess the human capital of Roman legionaries, officers and the civilian population born between the first century BCE and the third century CE in Pannonia (today’s West Hungary). Age-heaping techniques allow the measurement of human capital for this early period, although we need to discuss intensively potential selectivity. We f...
Article
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The lack of accurate measures of human capital formation often constrain investigations into the long-run determinants of growth and comparative economic development, especially in world regions such as Africa. Using the reported age of criminals in the Courts of Justice records in the Cape Archive, this paper documents, for the first time, the lev...
Chapter
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This chapter focuses on income inequality as measured by gross (i.e. pre-tax) household income across individuals within a country. It builds upon a number of large-scale initiatives to chart income inequality trends over time, supplementing them with data on wages and heights for the earlier period. Income inequality trends follow a U-shape in mos...
Article
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Average height is an important indicator of people’s well-being. It is also a relatively undistorted and easy-to-measure indicator, which makes it particularly suitable for comparisons across time and space. Drawing upon an extensive body of research, the chapter describes the strengths and weaknesses of this indicator. It finds that during the 19t...
Chapter
This chapter provides an introduction to, and summary of, the contents of this book. It outlines the aim of the project and provides an overview of the indicators covered, comparing them with those used in the OECD Better Life Initiative. The chapter also presents the criteria used throughout the report to assess the quality of the indicators used,...
Chapter
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Personal security reflects a crucial component of well-being. This chapter relies on homicide rates (the number of intentional deaths per 100 000 inhabitants) to trace changes of violence in time and space. It finds that Western Europe was already quite peaceful from the 19th century onwards, but homicide rates in the United States have been high b...
Article
Full-text available
The lack of accurate measures of human capital formation often constrains investigations into the long-run determinants of growth and comparative economic development, especially in the developing world. Using the reported ages of criminals in the Court of Justice records in the Cape Archives, this article documents for the first time numeracy leve...
Article
Full-text available
We analyze the proximate determinants of the biological standard of living from a global perspective, namely high-quality nutrition and the disease environment during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Until the mid-twentieth century, the local availability of cattle, meat, and milk per capita and the local disease environment mainly determine...
Article
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We analyze the numeracy of different social strata in Georgia during the 19th century. We focus especially on the ruling class, the nobility, relative to other social groups, because the attitude of this ruling class towards education could influence the institutional setting of this part of the Russian Empire. If the nobility preferred education o...