'The People Want the Fall of the Regime': Schooling, Political Protest, and the Economy

39 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2011

See all articles by Filipe R. Campante

Filipe R. Campante

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Davin Chor

Dartmouth College - Tuck School of Business; National University of Singapore (NUS) - Department of Economics

Date Written: March 21, 2011

Abstract

We examine several hypotheses regarding the determinants and implications of political protest, motivated by the wave of popular uprisings in Arab countries starting in late 2010. While the popular narrative has emphasized the role of a youthful demography and political repression, we draw attention back to one of the most fundamental correlates of political activity identified in the literature, namely education. Using a combination of individual-level micro data and cross-country macro data, we highlight how rising levels of education coupled with economic under-performance jointly provide a strong explanation for participation in protest modes of political activity as well as incumbent turnover. Political protests are thus more likely when an increasingly educated populace does not have commensurate economic gains. We also find that the implied political instability is associated with heightened pressures towards democratization.

Keywords: education, human capital, political protest, demonstrations, economic under-performance, democratization

JEL Classification: D72, D78, I20, I21, O15

Suggested Citation

Campante, Filipe R. and Chor, Davin, 'The People Want the Fall of the Regime': Schooling, Political Protest, and the Economy (March 21, 2011). HKS Working Paper No. RWP11-018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1861363 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1861363

Filipe R. Campante (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-384-7958 (Phone)

Davin Chor

Dartmouth College - Tuck School of Business ( email )

Hanover, NH 03755
United States

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Department of Economics ( email )

1 Arts Link, AS2 #06-02
Singapore 117570, Singapore 119077
Singapore

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
92
Abstract Views
649
rank
278,425
PlumX Metrics