Constitutional rights and education: An international comparative study

Sebastian Edwards*, Alvaro Garcia Marin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


We investigate whether the inclusion of educational rights in political constitutions affects the quality of education. We rely on data for 61 countries that participated in the 2012 PISA tests. Our results are strong and robust to the estimation technique (least squares or instrumental variables): there is no evidence that including the right to education in the constitution has been associated with higher test scores. The quality of education depends on socioeconomic, structural, and policy variables, such as expenditure per student, the teacher-pupil ratio, and families' background. These results are important for emerging countries that are discussing the adoption of new constitutions, such as Thailand and Chile.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)938-955
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Comparative Economics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Association for Comparative Economic Studies.


  • Constitutional reform
  • Constitutional rights
  • Education
  • PISA test
  • Positive rights


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