Do Education and Income Affect Support for Democracy in Muslim Countries? Evidence from the Pew Global Attitudes Project
M. Najeeb Shafiq
University of Pittsburgh
May 30, 2009
Economics of Education Review, Vol. 20, No. 3, pp. 461-469
Islamic Law and Law of the Muslim World Paper No. 09-70
Using micro-level public opinion data from the Pew Global Attitudes Project 2005, this study investigates the effect of educational attainment and income on support for democracy in five predominantly Muslim countries: Indonesia, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, and Turkey. Holding all else constant and compared to not finishing primary education, this study finds that secondary education and higher education encourage support for democracy in Jordan, Lebanon and Pakistan. The results suggest that support for democracy is a social benefit of education in Jordan, Lebanon, and Pakistan. Regarding income, the results indicate that relative to the poor, those belonging to middle-income groups are more supportive of democracy in Lebanon and Turkey. Curiously, there is no statistical relationship between belonging to the richest groups and supporting democracy.
Keywords: economic development, educational economics, human capital, Islam, Muslim, democracy, public opinion, public attitudes, Indonesia, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Turkey
JEL Classification: C25, I2, O53, Z12
Date posted: May 31, 2009 ; Last revised: April 10, 2011
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