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Civic Returns to Education: Voter Turnout in Ireland

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  • Yuanyuan Ma

    (Wenlan School of Business, Zhongnan University of Economics and Law; and The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA), Trinity College Dublin)

Abstract

Education is one of the most often cited explanations for voter turnout. However, the international evidence that estimates the causal effect of education on voter turnout is mixed. There is no evidence for such a causal effect in Ireland. Using data from the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA), and employing the instrumental variable (IV) probit model, we investigate whether education has a causal effect on individuals’ political participation in their later lives. We find that individuals with more education are more likely to vote in the general election. The effects are larger for individuals whose parents have only primary education or below, and for individuals growing up in a poor family. The findings provide motivations for increasing targeted public supports in education for students coming from a disadvantaged family.

Suggested Citation

  • Yuanyuan Ma, 2017. "Civic Returns to Education: Voter Turnout in Ireland," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 48(2), pages 145-169.
  • Handle: RePEc:eso:journl:v:48:y:2017:i:2:p:145-169
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. 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.
    5. Denny, Kevin & Doyle, Orla, 2008. "Political Interest, Cognitive Ability and Personality: Determinants of Voter Turnout in Britain," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 38(02), pages 291-310, April.
    6. Oreopoulos, Philip, 2007. "Do dropouts drop out too soon? Wealth, health and happiness from compulsory schooling," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(11-12), pages 2213-2229, December.
    7. Callan, Tim & Harmon, Colm, 1999. "The economic return to schooling in Ireland," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 543-550, November.
    8. O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), 1999. "Handbook of Labor Economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 3, number 3.
    9. Dee, Thomas S., 2004. "Are there civic returns to education?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1697-1720, August.
    10. Thomas Siedler, 2010. "Schooling and Citizenship in a Young Democracy: Evidence from Postwar Germany," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 112(2), pages 315-338, June.
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    Keywords

    education; voter turnout; Ireland;

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