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Democracy, education and the quality of government

By Piergiuseppe Fortunato and Ugo Panizza

Abstract

This paper looks at how the interaction between democracy and education affects the quality of government. It models an economy in which politicians of heterogeneous quality can run for office and shows that education has a positive effect on the quality of selected officials only if democratic institutions are in place. The model also fi…nds that democracy has positive effect on the quality of government in countries with high levels of education but that political institutions are not correlated with the quality of government in countries with low levels of education. Cross-country and panel data regressions confirm that the interaction between democracy and education is positively associated with the quality of government.

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