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.
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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