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Schooling, Political Participation, and the Economy


  • Filipe R. Campante

    (Harvard University)

  • Davin Chor

    (Singapore Management University)


We investigate how the link between individual schooling and political participation is affected by country characteristics. Using individual survey data, we find that political participation is more responsive to schooling in land-abundant countries and less responsive in human capital–abundant countries, even while controlling for country political institutions and cultural attitudes. We find related evidence that political participation is less responsive to schooling in countries with a higher skill premium, as well as within countries for individuals in skilled occupations. The evidence motivates a theoretical explanation in which patterns of political participation are influenced by the opportunity cost of engaging in political rather than production activities. © 2012 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Filipe R. Campante & Davin Chor, 2012. "Schooling, Political Participation, and the Economy," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(4), pages 841-859, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:94:y:2012:i:4:p:841-859

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Andrew K. Rose, 1994. "A Survey of Empirical Research on Nominal Exchange Rates," NBER Working Papers 4865, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Adler, Michael & Lehmann, Bruce, 1983. " Deviations from Purchasing Power Parity in the Long Run," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(5), pages 1471-1487, December.
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    7. Diebold, Francis X & Gardeazabal, Javier & Yilmaz, Kamil, 1994. " On Cointegration and Exchange Rate Dynamics," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(2), pages 727-735, June.
    8. Gonzalo, Jesus, 1994. "Five alternative methods of estimating long-run equilibrium relationships," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1-2), pages 203-233.
    9. Clements, Michael P. & Mizon, Grayham E., 1991. "Empirical analysis of macroeconomic time series : VAR and structural models," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 887-917, May.
    10. Chinn, Menzie D. & Meese, Richard A., 1995. "Banking on currency forecasts: How predictable is change in money?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1-2), pages 161-178, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Campante, Filipe R. & Chor, Davin, 2014. "“The people want the fall of the regime”: Schooling, political protest, and the economy," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 495-517.
    2. Arnaud Chevalier & Orla Doyle, 2012. "SCHOOLING AND VOTER TURNOUT: Is there an American Exception?," Working Papers 201210, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    3. Marco Manacorda & Andrea Tesei, 2016. "Liberation Technology: Mobile Phones and Political Mobilization in Africa," HiCN Working Papers 217, Households in Conflict Network.
    4. Resul Cesur & Naci H. Mocan, 2013. "Does Secular Education Impact Religiosity, Electoral Participation and the Propensity to Vote for Islamic Parties? Evidence from an Education Reform in a Muslim Country," NBER Working Papers 19769, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Davide Cantoni & Yuyu Chen & David Y. Yang & Noam Yuchtman & Y. Jane Zhang, 2017. "Curriculum and Ideology," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 125(2), pages 338-392.
    6. Bergh, Andreas & Mirkina, Irina & Nilsson, Therese, 2013. "More Open – Better Governed? Evidence from High- and Low-income Countries," Working Paper Series 997, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    7. Ragui Assaad & Miquel Pellicer & Caroline Krafft & Colette Salemi, 2002. "Grievances or Skills? The Effect of Education on Youth Attitudes and Political Participation in Egypt and Tunisia," Working Papers 1103, Economic Research Forum, revised 01 Jun 2002.
    8. Nelly El-Mallakh & Mathilde Maurel & Biagio Speciale, 2015. "Arab Spring Protests and Women’s Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from the Egyptian Revolution," Working Papers 957, Economic Research Forum, revised Oct 2015.
    9. repec:hal:wpaper:hal-01309651 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Pei Gao, 2015. "Risen from Chaos: What drove the spread of Mass Education in the early 20th century China," Working Papers 0089, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    11. repec:spr:laecrv:v:27:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s40503-017-0052-7 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    education; human capital; political participation; voting; factor endowments; skill premium; culture; state provision of schooling;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration


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