Education, political discontent, and emigration intentions: evidence from a natural experiment in Turkey

  • Z. Eylem GevrekEmail author
  • Pinar Kunt
  • Heinrich W. Ursprung


We exploit the 1997 school reform that prolonged compulsory schooling from 5 to 8 years to investigate the causal effect of education on emigration intentions. Our IV estimates indicate that an additional year of schooling increases the probability of reporting the intention to emigrate by 24% points. Moreover, we provide evidence that the identified effect of education on emigration intentions does not operate through financial dissatisfaction, but rather through displeasure at a bleak political environment that better educated people are more keenly aware of.


Education Migration Political discontent 

JEL Classification

I21 I25 I31 



We thank Bekir Ağırdır for providing us with the data and Eren Pultar who answered our numerous survey-related questions with admirable patience. We also thank two anonymous reviewers, the guest editor, Arye Hillman, and the editor-in-chief, William F. Shughart II, for helpful comments.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Católica Porto Business School and CEGEUniversidade Católica PortuguesaPortoPortugal
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversity of KonstanzConstanceGermany

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