The effects of educated leaders on policy and politics

Quasi-experimental evidence from Brazil

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DOI:

https://doi.org/10.47872/laer.v33i.198

Abstract

We examine whether and how the educational background of political leaders matters for policy choices and outcomes. Using data on municipalities in Brazil from 2000–2008, we estimate the effects of electing a more educated leader in a regression-discontinuity design whereby policy inputs and outcomes in municipalities where a highly educated candidate barely won the election are compared with those of municipalities where a highly educated candidate barely lost. The results indicate that highly educated mayors make different choices on the composition of public expenditure, but produce no systematic impact on a variety of measurable outcomes. Additionally, highly educated leaders are not more likely to be reelected, suggesting that they are not perceived as better politicians.

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Published

2024-05-13

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Section

Regular articles

How to Cite

The effects of educated leaders on policy and politics: Quasi-experimental evidence from Brazil. (2024). Latin American Economic Review, 33. https://doi.org/10.47872/laer.v33i.198