The conventional wisdom views high levels of education as a prerequisite for democracy. This paper shows that existing evidence for this view is based on cross-sectional correlations, which disappear once we look at within-country variation. In other words, there is no evidence that countries that increase their education are more likely to become democratic.
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Acemoglu, Daron, Simon Johnson, James A. Robinson, and Pierre Yared. "From Education to Democracy?" American Economic Review 95, no. 2 (2005): 44-49.
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