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Title: State capacity and the uneven cost of nation building: Language mismatch and literacy levels in Valencia
Author: Beltrán Tapia, Francisco
Diez-Minguela, Alfonso
Gómez-Tello, Alicia
Martínez Galarraga, Julio
Tirado, Daniel A.
Keywords: Disparitats regionals  
Immersió lingüística
València (País Valencià)
Regional disparities
Immersion method (Language teaching)
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Universitat de Barcelona. Facultat d'Economia i Empresa
Series/Report no: [WP E-Eco21/414]
Abstract: This paper studies the impact generated by the existence of a mismatch between the language of instruction and the language of use of the population in the context of the construction of the liberal state in Spain. In particular, the work analyzes the effects of the presence of this linguistic distance on the unequal diffusion of literacy among the municipalities that made up the former Kingdom of Valencia from 1860 to 1930. For the development of the analysis, a novel data set has been constructed with information that includes the literacy rates of the 524 municipalities that make up the region of Valencia (Valencian Community) in three points in time (1860, 1900 and 1930), the linguistic domain to which each municipality belongs, as well as the institutional, geographic and economic characteristics of each municipality at the end of the Ancien Régime (1787). Based on the available information, the analysis uses Propensity Score Matching techniques to verify the existence of an effect on the literacy levels recorded in Spanish-speaking municipalities with respect to Catalan-speaking ones. Two main results are obtained. The first is to identify the existence of differences in educational outcomes derived from the presence of a mismatch effect. Secondly, it is also shown that this effect only appears when the Spanish state enjoyed the capacity to force compliance with language regulations in public schools, in parallel with the advance of its financial and administrative capacity and the incipient advance of a democratic regime.
It is part of: UB Economics – Working Papers, 2021, E21/414
Appears in Collections:UB Economics – Working Papers [ERE]
Documents de treball (Història Econòmica, Institucions, Política i Economia Mundial)

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