The Millennium Development Goals and Education: Accountability and Substitution in Global Assessment

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Authors James Hodgdon Bisbee, James R. Hollyer, Bryan Peter Rosendorff, James Raymond Vreeland
Journal/Conference Name INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION
Paper Category
Paper Abstract Existing work has argued that precise international metrics and assessments, such as the Millennium Development Goals, induce governments to alter policies in pursuit of these metrics. In this paper, we explore the extent to which these effects alter the equilibrium composition of public goods provision. Governments with finite resources must make trade-offs in public goods investments. If international metrics do have an effect on state behavior, we expect to see these effects not only in the targeted metric but also in related metrics. However, a government’s ability to respond to international metrics is conditional on state characteristics such as democratic accountability and transparency. Our specific context examines primary and secondary school enrollment rates adjust to the Millennium Declaration across 114 countries with varying levels of transparency and democracy. We document evidence of a substitution effect in which the cointegrated relationship between primary and secondary enrollment rates responds to a country’s adoption of the Millennium Declaration. Substantively, we find that countries substitute away from secondary and tertiary enrollment rates toward primary following their adoption of the Millennium Declaration and that this effect is mitigated as government transparency rises. We do not find robust evidence of a similar process that varies by democratic accountability. ⇤James Hollyer would like to thank the Niehaus Center on Globalization and Governance and the Benjamin Lippincott foundation for research support. †james.bisbee@nyu.edu ‡jhollyer@umn.edu §peter.rosendorff@nyu.edu ¶jrv24@georgetown.edu
Date of publication 2019
Code Programming Language R
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