Education as Liberation?


This paper studies the political and social impacts of increased education by utilizing a randomized girls’ merit scholarship programme in Kenya that raised test scores and secondary schooling. Consistent with the view that education empowers the disadvantaged to challenge authority, we find that the programme reduced the acceptance of domestic violence and political authority. Young women in programme schools also increased their objective political knowledge. We find that this rejection of the status quo did not translate into greater perceived political efficacy, community participation or voting intentions. Instead, there is suggestive evidence that the perceived legitimacy of political violence increased.

Economica, 1(1)
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Willa Friedman
Assistant Professor of Economics

I am an Assistant Professor in the Economics Department at the University of Houston. I study development economics with interests in health, education, political economy, and behavioral economics, and a regional focus on Sub-Saharan Africa.