An Empirical Test of the Relative Education Model in Sweden

An Empirical Test of the Relative Education Model in Sweden Numerous studies show that education has a positive effect on political participation at the individual level. However, the increase in aggregate levels of education in most Western countries over the last decades has not resulted in a corresponding increase in aggregate levels of political participation. Nie et al. (Education and democratic citizenship in America, 1996) propose the relative education model as a possible solution to this paradox. According to this model, it is not the skills promoted by education that have positive effects on political participation. Rather, education influences individuals’ social status, which in turn influences political participation. The relative education model expects that the individual-level effect of an additional year of education will decrease as the mean level of education in the environment increases. This article evaluates this theory using Swedish election surveys (1985–2006) and it thus provides the first in depth evaluation of the relative education model outside the US. On voting and political participation related to political parties, support is found for the relative education model. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Political Behavior Springer Journals

An Empirical Test of the Relative Education Model in Sweden

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Political Science and International Relations; Political Science; Sociology, general
ISSN
0190-9320
eISSN
1573-6687
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11109-010-9138-5
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Numerous studies show that education has a positive effect on political participation at the individual level. However, the increase in aggregate levels of education in most Western countries over the last decades has not resulted in a corresponding increase in aggregate levels of political participation. Nie et al. (Education and democratic citizenship in America, 1996) propose the relative education model as a possible solution to this paradox. According to this model, it is not the skills promoted by education that have positive effects on political participation. Rather, education influences individuals’ social status, which in turn influences political participation. The relative education model expects that the individual-level effect of an additional year of education will decrease as the mean level of education in the environment increases. This article evaluates this theory using Swedish election surveys (1985–2006) and it thus provides the first in depth evaluation of the relative education model outside the US. On voting and political participation related to political parties, support is found for the relative education model.

Journal

Political BehaviorSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 5, 2010

References

  • Social inequality and interaction
    Bottero, W

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