Do Educated Leaders Matter?

23 Pages Posted: 24 Jul 2011

See all articles by Timothy J. Besley

Timothy J. Besley

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Jose G. Montalvo

Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Marta Reynal‐Querol

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: August 2011

Abstract

This article uses data on more than 1,000 political leaders between 1875 and 2004 to investigate whether having a more educated leader affects the rate of economic growth. We use an expanded set of random leadership transitions because of natural death or terminal illness to show, following an earlier paper by Jones and Olken (2005), that leaders matter for growth. We then provide evidence supporting the view that heterogeneity among leaders’ educational attainment is important with growth being higher by having leaders who are more highly educated.

Suggested Citation

Besley, Timothy J. and Montalvo, Jose G. and Reynal‐Querol, Marta, Do Educated Leaders Matter? (August 2011). The Economic Journal, Vol. 121, Issue 554, pp. F205-227, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1892628 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0297.2011.02448.x

Timothy J. Besley (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economics ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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Jose G. Montalvo

Universitat Pompeu Fabra ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas 25-27
08005 Barcelona
Spain

Marta Reynal‐Querol

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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