Saturday, September 27, 2014

Interesting Data on the Impact of Educational Achievement

The 2014 OECD Education at a Glance publication provides these graphs. They indicate that across nations, the more education a person has, the more trust they express in others and the more that they believe that they have a say in government. I read those data to suggest that education may tend to build social capital. (Of course, people with more education may indeed have more influence with government. They may also be of higher social status and accorded more trustworthy treatment by others.)

The data are for OECD countries, that is the "rich nations' club" nations.

Note that the impact of education on trust and feeling of having a say in government is highest for Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Netherlands, and the United States. It is low for Italy and Spain, Estonia, the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic, and Germany and Japan. It would be interesting to explore if there are aspects of the cultures of these countries that cause these results, or whether the traits are due to the nature of their historical experience.

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