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Support for democracy in the Fiji Islands: does schooling matter?

  • Neelesh Gounder
  • Mahendra Reddy
  • Biman Chand Prasad

Purpose – Education is highly regarded as having a central influence on individuals' understanding and backing of democracy, but whether this occurs in young and small democratic states remain unknown. The purpose of this paper is to examine whether schooling and education have a positive impact on an individual's democratic values in Fiji, whose democratic system has been subject to three coups since independence in 1970. Design/methodology/approach – To achieve the goal of this paper, the ordered probit probability model is used. The ordered probit model serves as a better framework for statistical analysis whenever field survey responses are ordinal as distinct from numerical. Findings – The results from an ordered probit model reveal that the education level does not affect an individual's democratic values. However, it is found that gender, age, and ethnicity do have an influence on individuals' endorsement of democracy. Practical implications – Democracy has more than once proved to be an elusive dream in Fiji. This paper aims to provide the answer whether education can be the facilitating factor in transition towards a more democratic state. Originality/value – This is the first study which comprehensively explores whether schooling and education has a positive impact on an individual's democratic values in Fiji.

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Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal International Journal of Social Economics.

Volume (Year): 37 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (January)
Pages: 136-149

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Handle: RePEc:eme:ijsepp:v:37:y:2010:i:2:p:136-149
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  1. Thomas S. Dee, 2003. "Are There Civic Returns to Education?," NBER Working Papers 9588, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. Daniel Miles, . "Can we teach civic attitudes?," Studies on the Spanish Economy 225, FEDEA.
  4. Thomas Siedler, 2007. "Schooling and Citizenship: Evidence from Compulsory Schooling Reforms," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 665, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  5. Evans, Geoffrey & Rose, Pauline, 2007. "Support for Democracy in Malawi: Does Schooling Matter?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 904-919, May.
  6. Edward Glaeser & Giacomo Ponzetto & Andrei Shleifer, 2006. "Why Does Democracy Need Education?," NBER Working Papers 12128, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Davidson, Russell & MacKinnon, James G., 1993. "Estimation and Inference in Econometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195060119, March.
  8. Sunil Kumar & Biman Prasad, 2004. "Politics of race and poverty in Fiji: A case of Indo-Fijian community," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 31(5/6), pages 469-486, May.
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