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Schooling and Political Participation Revisited

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  • Davin Chor

    (SMU)

  • Filipe R. Campante

Abstract

We investigate how the link between individual schooling and political participation is affected by country characteristics. We introduce a focus on a set of variables - namely factor endowments - which inuence the relative productivity of human capital in political versus production activities. Using micro data on individual behavior, we nd that political participation is more responsive to schooling in land-abundant countries, and less responsive in human capital-abundant countries, even while controlling for country political institutions and cultural attitudes. We develop these ideas in a model where individuals face an allocation decision over the use of their human capital. A relative abundance of land (used primarily in the least skill-intensive sector) or a scarcity of aggregate human capital will increase both the level of political participation and its responsiveness to schooling, by lowering the opportunity cost of production income foregone. In an extension, we further consider the problem of how much schooling a utility-maximizing ruler would choose to provide. An abundance of land tends to increase political participation ex post, and hence will lead the ruler to discourage human capital accumulation, a prediction for which we find broad support in the cross-country data. Our model thus offers a framework which jointly explains patterns of political participation at the individual level and differences in public investment in education at the country level.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by East Asian Bureau of Economic Research in its series Macroeconomics Working Papers with number 22072.

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Date of creation: Jan 2008
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Handle: RePEc:eab:macroe:22072

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Postal: JG Crawford Building #13, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government, Australian National University, ACT 0200
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Keywords: education; Human Capital; Political participation; Voting; Factor Endowments; culture; State provision of schooling;

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  1. Bourguignon, Francois & Verdier, Thierry, 2000. "Oligarchy, democracy, inequality and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 285-313, August.
  2. Matthias Doepke & David de la Croix, 2004. "To segregate or to integrate: education politics and democracy," 2004 Meeting Papers 390, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Dee, Thomas S., 2004. "Are there civic returns to education?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1697-1720, August.
  4. Pedro Dal bó, 2004. "Workers, Warriors and Criminals: Social Conflict in General Equilibrium," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 341, Econometric Society.
  5. Amparo Castello Climent, 2006. "On the Distribution of Education and Democracy," Working Papers 0602, International Economics Institute, University of Valencia.
  6. Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer, 2001. "Das Human Kapital," CEPR Discussion Papers 2701, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Milligan, Kevin & Moretti, Enrico & Oreopoulos, Philip, 2004. "Does education improve citizenship? Evidence from the United States and the United Kingdom," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1667-1695, August.
  8. Oded Galor & Omar Moav & Dietrich Vollrath, 2006. "Inequality in Land Ownership, the Emergence of Human Capital Promoting Institutions, and the Great Divergence," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_001, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  9. Galiani, Sebastian & Heymann, Daniel & Dabús, Carlos & Tohmé, Fernando, 2008. "On the emergence of public education in land-rich economies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 434-446, June.
  10. Edward L. Glaeser & Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2005. "Strategic Extremism: Why Republicans and Democrats Divide on Religious Values," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1283-1330, November.
  11. Edward Glaeser & Giacomo Ponzetto & Andrei Shleifer, 2007. "Why does democracy need education?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 77-99, June.
  12. Bobba, Matteo & Coviello, Decio, 2007. "Weak instruments and weak identification, in estimating the effects of education, on democracy," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 301-306, September.
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