Political actors within the modern state--in both the West and the Third World--argue that more schooling can provide remedies for a variety of economic and social ills. But what is the state's actual efficacy in sparking demands for, and constructing effective forms of, mass schooling? Is the state really an effective agent relative to educational demands originating from other institutions: competing economic interests, the family, and the school institution itself? Under what institutional conditions does school expansion spur economic growth and change? Since the 1960s, institutional and economic theorists have advanced responses to these important issues from three theoretical perspectives: functionalist human capital, class conflict, and world institution frameworks. This volume reviews historical work on these critical issues, conducted over the past two decades in the United States, Europe, and the Third World. Review chapters are complemented by reports of new findings--authored by a novel array of international economists, sociologists, and political analysts pulled together for this unusual initiative. Following a review chapter on the state's role in boosting mass schooling and economic change, Part 1 focuses on the historical origins of literacy and schooling. Part 2 reports original work on national economic effects of school expansion, drawing on experiences from both industrialized and developing economies. Part 3 turns to the issue of how central states attempt to craft the supply of, and manipulate popular demand for, schooling. Practical implications are discussed throughout. Top researchers have gathered an abundance of evidence, providing a rich reference volume forscholars and social policy makers alike.