“Positive rights,” in one lesson

According to an international study, nations that announce a constitutional right to education have on average a lower caliber of schooling: “the relation between the strength of constitutional educational rights and the quality of education is negative and statistically significant.” [Sebastian Edwards and Alvaro Garcia Marin, National Bureau of Economic Research via Tyler Cowen]

One Comment

  • From this sentence, and from the abstract, I can’t tell whether this is evidence against a causal relationship. That is, it might be that including education as a right in the constitution does not lead to improvements in education, but it might also be the case that the countries that include education as a right are the countries with poor education systems. If that is true, it might be that including education as a right actually leads to improvement. Longitudinal studies would help to sort this out.