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Education and the Quality of Government

Author

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  • Juan Botero
  • Alejandro Ponce
  • Andrei Shleifer

Abstract

Generally speaking, better educated countries have better governments, an empirical regularity that holds in both dictatorships and democracies. We suggest that a possible reason for this fact is that educated people are more likely to complain about misconduct by government officials, so that, even when each complaint is unlikely to succeed, more frequent complaints encourage better behavior from officials. Newly assembled individual-level survey data from the World Justice Project show that, within countries, better educated people are more likely to report official misconduct. The results are confirmed using other survey data on reporting crime and corruption. Citizen complaints might thus be an operative mechanism that explains the link between education and the quality of government.

Suggested Citation

  • Juan Botero & Alejandro Ponce & Andrei Shleifer, 2012. "Education and the Quality of Government," NBER Working Papers 18119, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18119
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
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    3. Fabrice Murtin & Romain Wacziarg, 2014. "The democratic transition," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 141-181, June.
    4. Jakob Svensson, 2005. "Eight Questions about Corruption," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 19-42, Summer.
    5. Soares, Rodrigo R., 2004. "Development, crime and punishment: accounting for the international differences in crime rates," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 155-184, February.
    6. Dee, Thomas S., 2004. "Are there civic returns to education?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1697-1720, August.
    7. Edward L. Glaeser & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Do Institutions Cause Growth?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 271-303, September.
    8. Treisman, Daniel, 2000. "The causes of corruption: a cross-national study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 399-457, June.
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    10. Rafael Di Tella & Sebastian Edwards & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2010. "The Economics of Crime: Lessons for and from Latin America," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number dite09-1, June.
    11. Soares, Rodrigo R, 2004. "Crime Reporting as a Measure of Institutional Development," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(4), pages 851-871, July.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Andrea Cammelli, 2014. "Investire nei giovani: se non ora, quando?," Working Papers 68, AlmaLaurea Inter-University Consortium.
    2. Cantoni, Davide & Yuchtman, Noam, 2013. "The political economy of educational content and development: Lessons from history," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 233-244.
    3. 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.
    4. Madsen, Jakob B., 2016. "Barriers to Prosperity: Parasitic and Infectious Diseases, IQ, and Economic Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 172-187.
    5. Kodila-Tedika, Oasis & Tcheta-Bampa, Albert, 2014. "Cold War and Institutional Quality: Some Empirical Evidence," MPRA Paper 53965, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Di Liberto, Adriana & Sideri, Marco, 2015. "Past dominations, current institutions and the Italian regional economic performance," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 12-41.
    7. Juan Botero & Alejandro Ponce & Andrei Shleifer, 2013. "Education, Complaints, and Accountability," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(4), pages 959-996.
    8. Brückner, Markus & Gradstein, Mark, 2013. "Income and schooling," CEPR Discussion Papers 9365, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Kodila-Tedika , Oasis, 2014. "Forget your gods: African evidence on the relation between state capacity and cognitive ability of leading politicians," European Economic Letters, European Economics Letters Group, vol. 3(1), pages 7-11.
    10. Naci Mocan & Luiza Pogorelova, 2014. "Compulsory Schooling Laws and Formation of Beliefs: Education, Religion and Superstition," Koç University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers 1423, Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum.
    11. Kodila-Tedika, Oasis & Asongu, Simplice & Azia-Dimbu, Florentin, 2015. "Statistics and IQ in Developing Countries: A Note," MPRA Paper 68323, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Mocan, Naci & Pogorelova, Luiza, 2014. "Compulsory Schooling Laws and Formation of Beliefs: Education, Religion and Superstition," IZA Discussion Papers 8698, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. Naci Mocan & Luiza Pogorelova, 2014. "Compulsory Schooling Laws and Formation of Beliefs: Education, Religion and Superstition," NBER Working Papers 20557, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Kodila-Tedika, Oasis & Mutascu, Mihai, 2014. "Tax Revenues and Intelligence: A Cross-Sectional Evidence," MPRA Paper 57581, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Fuchs-Schündeln, Nicola & Masella, Paolo, 2013. "Long-Lasting Effects of Socialist Education," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79865, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    16. Rabah Arezki & Herbert Lui & Marc G Quintyn & Frederik G Toscani, 2012. "Education Attainment in Public Administration Around the World; Evidence from a New Dataset," IMF Working Papers 12/231, International Monetary Fund.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth

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