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Education and Attitudes toward Redistribution in the United States

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 February 2020

John G. Bullock*
Department of Political Science, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA
*Corresponding author. E-mail:


Although scholars have studied education's effects on many different outcomes, little attention has been paid to its effects on adults’ economic views. This article examines those effects. It presents results based on longitudinal data which suggest that secondary education has a little-appreciated consequence: it makes Americans more opposed to redistribution. Placebo tests and other analyses confirm this finding. Further investigation suggests that these conservative effects of education operate partly by changing the way that self-interest shapes people's ideas about redistribution.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2020

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