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Why Was the Arab World Poised for Revolution? Schooling, Economic Opportunities, and the Arab Spring

  • Filipe R. Campante
  • Davin Chor

What underlying long-term conditions set the stage for the Arab Spring? In recent decades, the Arab region has been characterized by an expansion in schooling coupled with weak labor market conditions. This pattern is especially pronounced in those countries that saw significant upheaval during the first year of the Arab Spring uprisings. We argue that the lack of adequate economic opportunities for an increasingly educated populace can help us understand episodes of regime instability such as the Arab Spring.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.26.2.167
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 26 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (Spring)
Pages: 167-88

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:26:y:2012:i:2:p:167-88
Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.26.2.167
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  1. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong Wha, 2013. "A new data set of educational attainment in the world, 1950–2010," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 184-198.
  2. Markus Brückner & Antonio Ciccone, 2009. "Rain and the Democratic Window of Opportunity," Working Papers 2009-38, FEDEA.
  3. Moral-Benito, Enrique & Bartolucci, Cristian, 2012. "Income and democracy: Revisiting the evidence," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(3), pages 844-847.
  4. 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.
  5. Rohini Pande, 2011. "Can Informed Voters Enforce Better Governance? Experiments in Low-Income Democracies," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 3(1), pages 215-237, 09.
  6. Thomas S. Dee, 2003. "Are There Civic Returns to Education?," NBER Working Papers 9588, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Marcus Noland & Howard Pack, 2007. "Arab Economies in a Changing World, The," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 3931, March.
  8. Willa Friedman & Michael Kremer & Edward Miguel & Rebecca Thornton, 2011. "Education as Liberation?," NBER Working Papers 16939, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
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