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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Socialist Education Hurts Students Long after the Classroom

How Political Regimes Impact Education

According to a forthcoming paper by economists Nichola Fuchs Schundeln (Goethe-Universitat Frankfurt) and Paolo Masella (University of Sussex): 

Political regimes influence contents of education and criteria used to select and evaluate students. We study the impact of a socialist education on the likelihood of obtaining a college degree and on several labor market outcomes by exploiting the reorganization of the school system in East Germany after reunification.

[We find that] … an additional year of socialist education decreases the probability of obtaining a college degree and affects longer-term male labor market outcomes.

East Germany’s control of education was far greater than what occurs now in the United States. But the East German example merits attention, especially given mounting pressure in the United States for greater federal control of education.

Cross-posted from

  • Jeffrey Miron is a Senior Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Economics at Harvard University, as well as a senior fellow at the Cato Institute.