NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Are There Civic Returns to Education?

Thomas S. Dee

NBER Working Paper No. 9588
Issued in March 2003
NBER Program(s):   ED   CH

The hypothesized effects of educational attainment on adult civic engagement and attitudes provide some of the most important justifications for government intervention in the market for education. In this study, I present evidence on whether these externalities exist. I assess and implement two strategies for identifying the effects of educational attainment. One is based on the availability of junior and community colleges; the other, on changes in teen exposure to child labor laws. The results suggest that educational attainment has large and statistically significant effects on subsequent voter participation and support for free speech. I also find that additional schooling appears to increase the quality of civic knowledge as measured by the frequency of newspaper readership

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w9588

Published: Dee, Thomas S. "Are There Civic Returns To Education?," Journal of Public Economics, 2004, v88(9-10,Aug), 1697-1720. citation courtesy of

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