This paper investigates Becker, Hornung and Woessmann's recent claim that education had an important causal effect on Prussian industrialization and finds it unwarranted. The econometric analysis on which this claim is based suffers from severe problems, notably the omission of relevant variables which leads to serious bias in the estimated effect of education. When these problems are corrected, the conclusions of Becker, Hornung and Woessmann no longer hold. Education did not play an important role in enabling Prussia to catch up with Britain during the nineteenth century.
education industrialization omitted variables Prussian economic history