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Education, Complaints, and Accountability

  • Juan Botero
  • Alejandro Ponce
  • Andrei Shleifer

Better-educated countries have better governments, an empirical regularity that holds in both dictatorships and democracies. Possible reasons for this fact are that educated people are more likely to complain about misconduct by government officials and that 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. Citizens? complaints might thus be an operative mechanism that explains the link between education and the quality of government.

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Paper provided by Harvard University OpenScholar in its series Working Paper with number 69711.

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