Project

Numeracy and inequality. Spain and Spanish America. Modern Era.

Goal: Obtain a new dataset of numeracy in Modern Era.
Study their links with the levels of inequality.

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Project log

Èric Gómez-i-Aznar
added a research item
This work provides data on human capital for the Guarani Jesuit missions during the 18th century. Based on the age heaping methodology, the results of a large sample (over 3,600 observations) suggest that the knowledge of numerical skills in these missions was exceptional. A comparison with other regions and locations with different institutional frameworks, religious or otherwise, or led by other religious orders, confirms the exceptionality of the Guarani Jesuit missions. The model of these missions, based on productive self-sufficiency and egalitarian and cohesive social organization, as well as respect for the pre-existing culture exemplified by their Guaraníization and adaptation to the Guarani world view and language, could explain their successful educational performance and the intergenerational transmission of human capital beyond the disappearance of the Jesuit missions after 1767.
Èric Gómez-i-Aznar
added 2 research items
This article examines numeracy levels in Catalonia in the first years of the 18th century. The age-heaping methodology is applied to a source, the municipal registers of inhabitants (padrons), which is less biased than other sources commonly used in the literature. Moreover, this source allows considering a large number of observations (over 6,700) and offers a substantial geographical coverage. The study of the Catalan case is particularly appealing due to the scarce information available for human capital in the 18th-century, a crucial period in the transition from a preindustrial to an industrial society. The results show high levels of arithmetic capacity at the beginning of the century, mainly in urban areas and among the middle classes, with values close to those of other parts of Western Europe. In addition, they point to changes in occupational groups as a potential key factor in the positive evolution of this capacity, possibly making it a good indicator of learning in the workplace. Partial indicators of wealth also appear to link numeracy levels with access to equal opportunities.
Èric Gómez-i-Aznar
added a project goal
Obtain a new dataset of numeracy in Modern Era.
Study their links with the levels of inequality.