Clémence Cardon-Quint

State education budgets in the 20th century: literature review and research perspectives on the French case

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Since the dramatic surge of education expenditures at the end of the 19th century, education budgets have fostered a vast array of analyses, stemming from lawyers, economists and political scientists. Historians of education usually ignore most of the conclusions drawn from these studies and simultaneously tend to neglect the budget and the budgetary procedure as a legitimate source for historical inquiry into education policies. This article gives an analytical overview of the existing literature on education state expenditures; it highlights the main conclusions of an extensive, international bibliography drawn from several disciplinary fields; finally, it sketches how archival research might integrate, challenge and inform economic history studies.


  • France
  • government expenditure and education
  • budgetary process
  • history of education


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