Democracy and Education: Evidence from the Southern African Development Community

Working paper 433
Manoel Bittencourt
Publication date: 
May, 2014

In this paper I investigate whether democracy in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has had any effect on education during the 1980-2009 period. The results, based on panel time-series analysis (I use the Pooled OLS and Fixed Effects estimators in order to deal with heterogeneity and statistical endogeneity and Fixed Effects with Instrumental Variables, eg the end of the cold war is one of the contemporaneous external sources of variation to democracy, to deal with reverse causality in thin panels), suggest that democracy, and the better governance that tends to be associated with it, has played an important role in terms of widening access to education in the community. All in all, the results are significant because democracy is in its infancy in the continent and to make it work is an aim in itself in Africa, and also because education is an important determinant of growth and development.

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