Northwestern Events Calendar


Seminar in Economic History

When: Wednesday, April 17, 2024
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM CT

Where: Kellogg Global Hub, 2130, 2211 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Kayla Johnson  

Group: Department of Economics: Seminar in Economic History

Category: Academic


Stefano Gagliarducci (Tor Vergata): "Church, State and Education: School Funding and Catholic Assimilation in the U.S." with Squicciarini M. and Tabellini M.

Abstract: We study how the allocation of public funds affects the diffusion of confessional schools and the assimilation of immigrants. We focus on the Age of Mass Migration, when about 15 million European Catholics migrated to the US, where public schools were de facto Protestant. To this purpose, we combine newly digitized data on Catholic parochial schools for the period 1872-1925 with the full count US Censuses, where Catholic immigrants are identified through their nationality. We leverage on the staggered adoption of amendments across states between 1870-1920 aimed at defunding confessional education (the so-called Blaine Amendments), and further exploit county-level variation in the size of Catholic communities to achieve identification. We find that a cut in public funding for confessional education reduced the presence and the attendance to Catholic schools. However, the effect of Blaine amendments on immigrants' assimilation was more nuanced: while we observe a positive effect on human capital accumulation, especially through schools, there was instead a negative impact on inter-group assimilation between Catholics and natives.

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