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Journal article
Oil discoveries and education provision in the Postbellum South

December 2019
Paper No' :

Tags: education; local public finances; oil; race; resource booms; rosenwald; teachers

This paper studies the effect of oil wealth on the provision of education in the early 20th century United States. Using information on the location and discovery of major oil fields, I find that oil wealth increased local revenue and education spending. However, population increased, and as consequence, schooling quality did not improve across the board. Nominal teacher wages increased, and oil-rich counties were more likely to participate in the Rosenwald school building program for blacks. However, neither student-teacher ratios nor school attendance rates improved in the wake of oil discoveries. © 2019 Elsevier Ltd