Reading, writing, and the regrettable status of education research in comparative politics


Journal Article

Apart from some notable exceptions, education is regrettably understudied in comparative politics. This paucity stems from both a dearth of reliable data on schooling and the fact that education raises analytical issues that fall outside the typical domain of political scientists. In light of education's crucial role in everything from citizen attitudes to earnings to economic growth, we recommend that political scientists pay more attention to education. In particular, comparative researchers should shift from an almost exclusive focus on average levels of schooling to explaining the causes and consequences of educational inequality. To that end, we provide a broad comparative framework for analyzing the politics of education. In our formulation, skill-biased technological change and factor endowments condition the extent to which firms demand human capital. The supply of skills is a function of the interests and institutions that link voters and politicians. We conclude by positing theoretical and empirical puzzles for future research. Copyright © 2014 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Gift, T; Wibbels, E

Published Date

  • January 1, 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 17 /

Start / End Page

  • 291 - 312

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1094-2939

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1146/annurev-polisci-080911-131426

Citation Source

  • Scopus