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2019-04-02 | Peer Reviewed

Higher Education and Prosperity: From Catholic Missionaries to Luminosity in India

Amparo Castelló‐Climent, Latika Chaudhary, Abhiroop Mukhopadhyay, Higher Education and Prosperity: From Catholic Missionaries to Luminosity in India, The Economic Journal, Volume 128, Issue 616, 1 December 2018, Pages 3039–3075, https://doi.org/10.1111/ec
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This article estimates the impact of completed higher education on economic prosperity across Indian districts. To address the endogeneity of higher education, we use the location of Catholic missionaries circa 1911 as an instrument. Catholics constitute a very small share of the population in India and their influence beyond higher education has been limited. Our instrumental variable results find a positive effect of higher education on development, as measured by light density. The results are robust to alternative measures of development, and are not driven by lower levels of schooling or other channels by which missionaries could impact current income.