Algan Yann, Cahuc Pierre, Shleifer Andrei. In: American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 2013, 5(3): 189–210.


In cross-country data, teaching practices (such as copying from the board versus working on projects together) are related to various dimensions of social capital. In micro-data from three datasets, teaching practices are also strongly correlated with student beliefs about cooperation across schools within countries. To address omitted variable and reverse causality concerns, we show that, within schools, teaching practices also have an independent and sizeable effect on student beliefs. The evidence supports the idea that progressive education promotes the formation of social capital.