Working Paper BETA #2018-13

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Title : Learning outside the factory: the impact of technological change on the rise of adult education in nineteenth-century France

Author(s) : Claude Diebolt, Charlotte Le Chapelain, Audrey Rose Menard

Abstract : The paper provides an empirical examination of the effect of the use of steam engine technology on the development of adult education in nineteenth-century France. In particular, we exploit exogenous regional variations in the distribution of steam engines across France to evidence that technological change significantly contributed to the development of lifelong training during the 1850-1881 period. Our research shows that steam technology adoption in France was not deskilling. We argue that this process raised the demand for new skills adapted to the development of French industries.

Key-words : Adult Education, Cliometrics, France, Human Capital, Industrialization, Steam Engines, Technological Change.

JEL Classification : A12, C18, C80, I21, N13, N33, 014, 033.