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Education and the Quality of Government

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  • Juan Botero
  • Alejandro Ponce
  • Andrei Shleifer

Abstract

Generally speaking, better educated countries have better governments, an empirical regularity that holds in both dictatorships and democracies. We suggest that a possible reason for this fact is that educated people are more likely to complain about misconduct by government officials, so that, even when each complaint is unlikely to succeed, more frequent complaints encourage better behavior from officials. Newly assembled individual-level survey data from the World Justice Project show that, within countries, better educated people are more likely to report official misconduct. The results are confirmed using other survey data on reporting crime and corruption. Citizen complaints might thus be an operative mechanism that explains the link between education and the quality of government.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18119.

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Date of creation: Jun 2012
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18119

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  1. Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc & Andrei Shleifer, 2013. "Teaching Practices and Social Capital," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 189-210, July.
  2. Thomas S. Dee, 2003. "Are There Civic Returns to Education?," NBER Working Papers 9588, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Soares, Rodrigo R., 2004. "Development, crime and punishment: accounting for the international differences in crime rates," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 155-184, February.
  4. Fabrice Murtin & Romain Wacziarg, 2011. "The Democratic Transition," NBER Working Papers 17432, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Edward L. Glaeser & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Do Institutions Cause Growth?," NBER Working Papers 10568, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Matteo Bobba & Decio Coviello, 2006. "Weak Instruments and Weak Identification in Estimating the Effects of Education on Democracy," Research Department Publications 4472, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  7. Jakob Svensson, 2005. "Eight Questions about Corruption," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 19-42, Summer.
  8. 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.
  9. Treisman, Daniel, 2000. "The causes of corruption: a cross-national study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 399-457, June.
  10. Rafael Di Tella & Sebastian Edwards & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2010. "The Economics of Crime: Lessons for and from Latin America," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number dite09-1.
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Cited by:
  1. Cesur, Resul & Mocan, Naci, 2014. "Does Secular Education Impact Religiosity, Electoral Participation and the Propensity to Vote for Islamic Parties? Evidence from an Education Reform in a Muslim Country," IZA Discussion Papers 8017, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Kodila-Tedika, Oasis, 2013. "Forget your gods: African evidence on the relation between state capacity and cognitive ability of leading politicians," MPRA Paper 46449, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Botero, Juan & Ponce, Alejandro & Shleifer, Andrei, 2013. "Education, Complaints, and Accountability," Scholarly Articles 11880346, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Cantoni, Davide & Yuchtman, Noam, 2013. "The political economy of educational content and development: Lessons from history," Munich Reprints in Economics 20002, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  5. Fuchs-Schündeln, Nicola & Masella, Paolo, 2013. "Long-Lasting Effects of Socialist Education," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79865, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  6. Andrea Cammelli, 2014. "Investire nei giovani: se non ora, quando?," Working Papers 68, AlmaLaurea Inter-University Consortium.
  7. Rabah Arezki & Herbert Lui & Marc Quintyn & Frederik G Toscani, 2012. "Education Attainment in Public Administration Around the World," IMF Working Papers 12/231, International Monetary Fund.
  8. Kodila-Tedika, Oasis & Tcheta-Bampa, Albert, 2014. "Cold War and Institutional Quality: Some Empirical Evidence," MPRA Paper 53965, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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