Do Educated Leaders Matter?
Timothy Besley, Jose Montalvo & Marta Reynal-Querol
Economic Journal, August 2011, Pages F205–227
Abstract: This article uses data on more than 1,000 political leaders between 1875 and
2004 to investigate whether having a more educated leader affects the rate of economic growth. We use an expanded set of random leadership transitions because of natural death or terminal illness to show, following an earlier paper by Jones and Olken (2005), that leaders matter for growth. We then provide evidence supporting the view that heterogeneity among leaders’ educational attainment is important with growth being higher by having leaders who are more highly educated.
(Nod to Kevin Lewis)