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Demography, Education, and Democracy: Global Trends and the Case of Iran

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  • Wolfgang Lutz
  • Jesús Crespo Cuaresma
  • Mohammad Jalal Abbasi-Shavazi

Abstract

Reconstructions and projections of populations by age, sex, and educational attainment for 120 countries since 1970 are used to assess the global relationship between improvements in human capital and democracy. Democracy is measured by the Freedom House indicator of political rights. Similar to an earlier study on the effects of improving educational attainment on economic growth, the greater age detail of this new dataset resolves earlier ambiguities about the effect of improving education as assessed using a global set of national time series. The results show consistently strong effects of improving overall levels of educational attainment, of a narrowing gender gap in education, and of fertility declines and the subsequent changes in age structure on improvements in the democracy indicator. This global relationship is then applied to the Islamic Republic of Iran. Over the past two decades Iran has experienced the world's most rapid fertility decline associated with massive increases in female education. The results show that based on the experience of 120 countries since 1970, Iran has a high chance of significant movement toward more democracy over the following two decades. Copyright (c) 2010 The Population Council, Inc..

Suggested Citation

  • Wolfgang Lutz & Jesús Crespo Cuaresma & Mohammad Jalal Abbasi-Shavazi, 2010. "Demography, Education, and Democracy: Global Trends and the Case of Iran," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 36(2), pages 253-281.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:popdev:v:36:y:2010:i:2:p:253-281
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Crespo Cuaresma, Jesus & Oberdabernig, Doris Anita, 2014. "Education and the Transition to Sustained Democracy," Department of Economics Working Paper Series 4108, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    2. Jesús Crespo Cuaresma & Wolfgang Lutz & Warren Sanderson, 2014. "Is the Demographic Dividend an Education Dividend?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(1), pages 299-315, February.
    3. Fereidouni, Hassan Gholipour & Foroughi, Behzad & Tajaddini, Reza & Najdi, Youhanna, 2015. "Sport facilities and sporting success in Iran: The Resource Curse Hypothesis," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 1005-1018.
    4. Wyndow, Paula & Li, Jianghong & Mattes, Eugen, 2013. "Female Empowerment as a Core Driver of Democratic Development: A Dynamic Panel Model from 1980 to 2005," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 34-54.
    5. Namasaka, Martin, 2014. "Demographic Transition and Rise of Modern Representative Democracy," MPRA Paper 60122, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Gavin Jones & Divya Ramchand, 2013. "Education and human capital development in the giants of Asia," Asian-Pacific Economic Literature, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government, The Australian National University, vol. 27(1), pages 40-61, May.
    7. Wolfgang Lutz, 2014. "A Population Policy Rationale for the Twenty-First Century," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 40(3), pages 527-544, September.

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