Nation-Building and Education

Alberto Alesina, Paola Giuliano, Bryony Reich*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Democracies and dictatorships have different incentives when it comes to choosing how much and by what means to homogenise the population, i.e., 'to build a nation'. We study and compare nation-building policies under the transition from dictatorship to democracy in a model where the type of government and borders of the country are endogenous. We find that the threat of democratisation provides the strongest incentive to homogenise. We focus upon a specific nation-building policy: mass primary education. We offer historical discussions of nation-building across time and space, and provide correlations for a large sample of countries over the 1925-2014 period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2273-2303
Number of pages31
JournalEconomic Journal
Issue number638
StatePublished - Aug 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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