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Education as Liberation?

  • Willa Friedman
  • Michael Kremer
  • Edward Miguel
  • Rebecca Thornton

Scholars have long speculated about education's political impacts, variously arguing that it promotes modern or pro-democratic attitudes; that it instills acceptance of existing authority; and that it empowers the disadvantaged to challenge authority. To avoid endogeneity bias, if schooling requires some willingness to accept authority, we assess the political and social impacts of a randomized girls' merit scholarship incentive program in Kenya that raised test scores and secondary schooling. We find little evidence for modernization theory. Consistent with the empowerment view, young women in program schools were less likely to accept domestic violence. Moreover, the program increased objective political knowledge, and reduced acceptance of political authority. However, this rejection of the status quo did not translate into greater perceived political efficacy, community participation, or voting intentions. Instead, the perceived legitimacy of political violence increased. Reverse causality may help account for the view that education instills greater acceptance of authority.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16939.

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Date of creation: Apr 2011
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16939
Note: ED POL
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  1. Dee, Thomas S., 2004. "Are there civic returns to education?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1697-1720, August.
  2. Chaudhury, Nazmul & Parajuli, Dilip, 2006. "Conditional cash transfers and female schooling : the impact of the female school stipend program on public school enrollments in Punjab, Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4102, The World Bank.
  3. Michael Kremer & Edward Miguel & Rebecca Thornton, 2004. "Incentives to Learn," NBER Working Papers 10971, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Khandker, Shahidur & Pitt, Mark & Fuwa, Nobuhiko, 2003. "Subsidy to Promote Girls' Secondary Education: The Female Stipend Program in Bangladesh," MPRA Paper 23688, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2005. "Income and Democracy," NBER Working Papers 11205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Alderman, Harold & Watkins, Susan Cotts & Kohler, Hans-Peter & Maluccio, John A. & Behrman, Jere R., 2000. "Attrition in longitudinal household survey data," FCND discussion papers 96, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  7. Claude Berrebi, 2003. "Evidence About the Link Between Education, Poverty and Terrorism Among Palestinians," Working Papers 856, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  8. Duflo, Esther & Dupas, Pascaline & Kremer, Michael & Sinei, Samuel, 2006. "Education and HIV/AIDS prevention : evidence from a randomized evaluation in Western Kenya," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4024, The World Bank.
  9. Esther Duflo & Michael Kremer & Pascaline Dupas & Samuel Sinei, 2006. "Education and hiv/aids prevention: Evidence from a randomized evaluation in western kenya," Framed Field Experiments 00143, The Field Experiments Website.
  10. Deon Filmer & Norbert Schady, 2008. "Getting Girls into School: Evidence from a Scholarship Program in Cambodia," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 581-617.
  11. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2005. "From Education to Democracy?," NBER Working Papers 11204, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Lance Lochner, 2011. "Non-Production Benefits of Education: Crime, Health, and Good Citizenship," NBER Working Papers 16722, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Papaioannou, Elias & Siourounis, Gregorios, 2008. "Economic and Social Factors Driving the Third Wave of Democratization," CEPR Discussion Papers 6986, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Edward Glaeser & Giacomo Ponzetto & Andrei Shleifer, 2007. "Why does democracy need education?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 77-99, June.
  15. Pamela Jakiela & Edward Miguel & Vera L. te Velde, 2010. "You've Earned It: Combining Field and Lab Experiments to Estimate the Impact of Human Capital on Social Preferences," NBER Working Papers 16449, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Kevin Milligan & Enrico Moretti & Philip Oreopoulos, 2003. "Does Education Improve Citizenship? Evidence from the U.S. and the U.K," NBER Working Papers 9584, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Fuwa, Nobuhiko, 2001. "The Net Impact of the Female Secondary School Stipend Program in Bangladesh," MPRA Paper 23402, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  18. Philip Oreopoulos & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2011. "Priceless: The Nonpecuniary Benefits of Schooling," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(1), pages 159-84, Winter.
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