Gender Equality without Democracy? Higher Education Expansion and Authoritarian Values

Suen Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

How does social policy affect authoritarian values? Leveraging exogenous variation, I evaluate how higher education expansion as a social policy program in China has influenced authoritarian support and traditional gender attitudes. I use an instrumental variable approach and regression analyses with marginal effects to assess multiple waves of Chinese national representative surveys coupled with regional statistics. The study differentiates between two types of authoritarian support: specific support (authoritarian support based on evaluation of recent policies) and diffuse support (long‐term authoritarian traits independent of recent policies). I find that education expansion has significantly decreased specific authoritarian support; however, it has not influenced diffuse authoritarian support. Moreover, a decrease in traditional gender attitudes is driven by a cohort effect rather than an education expansion effect. The findings have broader implications for understanding the effects of social policy on attitudinal change in an authoritarian context.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGovernance: An international journal of Policy, Administration, and Institutions
Number of pages21
ISSN0952-1895
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Epub ahead of print. Published online: 15 February 2021.

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