Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Education and Political Engagement

Le, Kien and Nguyen, My (2019): Education and Political Engagement.

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While the robust and positive association between education and political engagement has been widely documented, the direct causal link is still a subject of debate. This study contributes to the ongoing debate by examining whether there exists a causal effect of education on political engagement. Exploiting the plausibly exogenous variation in education induced by the compulsory schooling reforms across 39 countries, we find that education cultivates political interest, promotes the acquisition of political knowledge, and fosters supportive attitudes towards political freedoms. Nevertheless, the better educated are no more likely to vote in elections nor adopt any specific position in the left-right political spectrum.

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