Abstract

Developing democracies are experiencing unprecedented increases in primary and secondary schooling. To identify education's long-run political effects, we use a difference-in-differences design that leverages variation across local government areas and gender in the intensity of Nigeria's 1976 universal primary education reform—one of Africa's largest ever educational expansions—to instrument for education. We find large increases in basic civic and political engagement: better educated citizens are more attentive to politics, more likely to vote, and more involved in community associations. The effects are largest among minority groups and in fractionalized areas, without increasing support for political violence or own-group identification.

Supplementary data

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