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The relationship between education and political knowledge: evidence from discordant Danish twins

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  • Aaron Weinschenk, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, United States
  • Chris Dawes, New York University, United States
  • Stig Hebbelstrup Rye Rasmussen
  • ,
  • Robert Klemmensen, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
Many studies have shown that there is a positive relationship between education and political knowledge. However, some scholars have recently challenged this idea, arguing that the positive correlation between education and knowledge may disappear once confounding variables are considered. In this paper, we replicate a recent study that used the discordant twin design to examine the association between education and political knowledge. More specifically, we analyze the relationship between education and political knowledge within monozygotic (MZ) twin pairs, which enables us to bypass sources of confounding of the relationship (i.e. genes and socialization) because MZ twins reared together share both. Using data from a 2019 survey of twins from the Danish Twin Registry, we find that, consistent with earlier work, after accounting for familial factors, the relationship between education on political knowledge is small and not statistically significant.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Elections, Public Opinion, and Parties
Pages (from-to)105-117
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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