Revisiting the Causal Effect of Education on Political Participation and Interest

27 Pages Posted: 23 Dec 2020

See all articles by Nadja Bömmel

Nadja Bömmel

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Guido Heineck

University of Bamberg; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

A substantial number of studies suggests a strong relationship between education and aspects of political participation and interest. Only a small body of literature, however, addresses whether these patterns represent causal effects. We add to this research and re-examine the question in the German context. For identification, we exploit an exogenous increase in lower secondary compulsory schooling between 1949 and 1969 in former West Germany, and use data from the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS) to identify individuals' educational biographies more precisely than prior research. Our results reinforce findings from Siedler (2010): multiple regression analyses first indicate a positive, statistically significant correlation between schooling and our measures of political activities. IV estimates, however, are all trivial, for both compliers and the full sample, indicating that the reform did not stimulate long-term changes in political participation and interest.

JEL Classification: I2, H4, H23

Suggested Citation

Bömmel, Nadja and Heineck, Guido, Revisiting the Causal Effect of Education on Political Participation and Interest. IZA Discussion Paper No. 13954, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3751847

Nadja Bömmel (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Guido Heineck

University of Bamberg

Feldkirchenstr. 21
Bamberg, 96052
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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