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Educational Attainment Has a Causal Effect on Economic, But Not Social Ideology: Evidence from Discordant Twins: Evidence from Discordant Twins

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  • Stig Hebbelstrup Rye Rasmussen
  • ,
  • Aaron Weinschenk, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, United States
  • Asbjørn Sonne Nørgaard, Tænketanken Cevea, Denmark
  • Jacob Von Bornemann Hjelmborg, University of Southern Denmark
  • ,
  • Robert Klemmensen, University of Southern Denmark
In this article, we examine the nature of the relationship between educational attainment and ideology. Some scholars have argued that the effect of education on political variables like ideology is inflated due to unaccounted-for family factors, such as genetic predispositions and parental socialization. Using the discordant twin design and data from a large sample of Danish twins, we find that after accounting for confounders rooted in the family, education has a (quasi)-causal effect on economic ideology, but not social ideology. We also examine whether the relationship between education and economic ideology is moderated by levels of economic hardship in the local context where individuals reside. We find that the (quasi)-causal effect of education on economic ideology increases in economically challenged areas.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPolitical Studies
Pages (from-to)256-275
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

    Research areas

  • causality, education, political ideology

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