Working Paper Series
IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy
Can increased education help reduce the political opportunity gap?
(), Sven Oskarsson
() and Mikael Persson
Abstract: It is well documented that voter turnout is lower among
persons who grow up in families of low socio-economic status compared to
persons from high-status families. This paper examines whether reforms in
education can help to reduce the socio-economic gap in voting. We
distinguish between reforms of two types that may lead to differences in
the exercise of voting; (a) changes in the resources allocated to education
between different socio-economic groups (reform effects) and (b) changes in
return which relate to the impact of education on turnout in different
groups. We use this framework to analyze a reform of the Swedish upper
secondary school system in the 1990s. This reform increased the length and
amount of social science education on vocational training programs. We find
that the reform reduced the gap in voting mainly by means of its stronger
influence among individuals from families of low socio-economic status.
Keywords: political inequality; political participation; voting; education; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: H70; I24; (follow links to similar papers)
66 pages, June 14, 2017
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