The Center for Global Development
and The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies present
the Massachusetts Avenue Development Seminar (MADS)
Does the Education of Politicians Matter?
Evidence from a Bachelors Degree Requirement for Legislators in Pakistan
School of Public Policy, University of Maryland
Development Research Group, World Bank
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
A light lunch will be served
Center for Global Development
1800 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Third Floor, Washington, DC
**Please bring photo identification, per the building's security regulations**
Read Madiha Afzal's paper (pdf)
Abstract: In order to contest elections in Pakistan in 2002, all candidates for Member of National Assembly had to file proof of graduating with a Bachelors degree or higher with their candidacy papers. This policy experiment had the effect of disqualifying 60 of the 207 MNAs elected in the 1997 election, 29% of the National Assembly incumbents. Even more drastically, it restricted 97 percent of the country from running for Parliament, leaving only 3 percent of the voting population who were college graduates as eligible to contest national elections. I use this policy experiment to measure the effect of legislator education on a number of development fund outcomes, controlling for year and constituency fixed effects. I find that there is no overall effect of legislator education on total development spending. Not only is the overall effect of education on policy insignificant, there is no composite effect of education and political competition on development spending in areas where the incumbent was disqualified and there was a smaller pool of substitute candidates. Educated politicians also do not appear to be spending significantly differently on education versus non-education projects.
*The Massachusetts Avenue Development Seminar (MADS) series is an effort by the Center for Global Development and The Paul H Nitze School of Advanced International Studies to take advantage of the incredible concentration of great international development scholars in the Metro Washington, DC area. The series seeks to bring together members of this community and improve communication between them.