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Do democracies select more educated leaders

By Timothy Besley and Marta Reynal-Querol


This paper tests whether education levels di¤er between leaders selected in autocracies and democracies. We use a unique data set on over 1300 world leaders between 1848 and 2004 and exploit within country variation from transitions to and from democracy to show that democracies pick more highly educated leaders. The results are ro- bust to a wide range of specifications, controls and ways of measuring education and democracy

Topics: JA Political science (General), JF Political institutions (General)
Publisher: London School of Economics and Political Science
Year: 2009
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Provided by: LSE Research Online
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