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Does education affect economic liberty? The role of information and the media

Sotiris Papaioannou ()

MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany

Abstract: We explore whether education plays a key role in determining economic liberty. Baseline estimates suggest that the educational level of a country, as measured by the average years of total schooling, is a significant contributor to economic freedom. To isolate exogenous variation, we use historical information on primary school enrollment rates and also rely on genetic information. We show that the exogenous component of education is strongly correlated with economic liberty after controlling for the influence of a number of other relevant factors. We identify access to information and media freedom as two channels through which higher education is translated into less interventional government policy. We offer non parametric evidence and demonstrate that the impact of schooling is non linear. At low levels of education its influence is negative implying that economic policies in favor of government intervention are more likely to prevail when the educational level of a country is low. When moving to higher levels of schooling, this effect switches to positive.

Keywords: Economic freedom; Education; Information; Media freedom; Non parametric analysis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D83 I25 Z18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018-06-16, Revised 2018-06-16
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cul and nep-edu
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