Islam and human capital in historical Spain

According to a unique dataset, Muslim rule in Spain between 711 and 1492 had a lasting impact on human capital, particularly literacy. Literacy rates are strongly inversely related to the Muslim rule period. Islamic institutions inhibited merchant class and local self-government development, resulting in low education demand, according to the study. Results show that later trade episodes and jurisdictional changes did not affect the main conclusions.

Image courtesy of interviewee. December 20, 2023

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