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Polarized education levels and civil unrest

Author

Listed:
  • Gustavo Javier Canavire-Bacarreza
  • Christopher Cotton

    () (Queen's University)

  • Michael Jetter
  • Alejandra Montoya-Agudelo

Abstract

After introducing a measure for educational polarization (EduPol), this paper presents a theoretical framework to understand whether and how EduPol may affect the contest for power in society. The model suggests that societies with high degrees of EduPol (i.e., substantial shares with either no or university-level education) are systematically more prone to civil unrest. We test this prediction on four measures of civil unrest: Political instability, domestic terrorism, civil conflict, and civil war. Our empirical estimations produce evidence consistent with this hypothesis as all four phenomena are positively associated with EduPol at the beginning of the respective period, exhibiting meaningful magnitudes. These results prevail when accounting for (i) potentially confounding factors, (ii) country- and time- fixed effects, (iii) economic inequality, (iv) ethnic and religious polarization and fractionalization, and (v) numerous alternative estimations and outcome variables.

Suggested Citation

  • Gustavo Javier Canavire-Bacarreza & Christopher Cotton & Michael Jetter & Alejandra Montoya-Agudelo, 2019. "Polarized education levels and civil unrest," Working Paper 1417, Economics Department, Queen's University.
  • Handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:1417
    as

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    File URL: https://www.econ.queensu.ca/sites/econ.queensu.ca/files/wpaper/qed_wp_1417.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Civil conflict; civil unrest; civil war; Education polarization; Peace economics;

    JEL classification:

    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality

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