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Lindgren, K.-O., Oskarsson, S. & Mikael, P. (2019). Access to education and political candidacy: Lessons from school openings in Sweden. Economics of Education Review, 69, 138-148
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Access to education and political candidacy: Lessons from school openings in Sweden
2019 (English)In: Economics of Education Review, ISSN 0272-7757, E-ISSN 1873-7382, Vol. 69, p. 138-148Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

How does availability of education affect who becomes a political representative? Theorists have pointed out that access to education is a key to a well-functioning democracy, but few empirical studies have examined how changes in the access to education influence the chances of becoming a politician. In this paper, we analyze the effects of a large series of school openings in Sweden during the early 20th century, which provided adolescents with better access to secondary education. We use administrative data pertaining to the entire Swedish population born between 1916 and 1945. According to our empirical results, the opening of a new lower secondary school in a municipality increased the baseline probability of running for political office by 10–20%, and the probability of holding office by 20–30%.

Keywords
Education, Political representation
National Category
Political Science Pedagogy Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-377912 (URN)10.1016/j.econedurev.2019.02.002 (DOI)000462696300008 ()
Funder
Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy (IFAU)Swedish Research CouncilEU, European Research Council
Available from: 2019-02-27 Created: 2019-02-27 Last updated: 2019-04-17Bibliographically approved
Lindgren, K.-O., Oskarsson, S. & Persson, M. (2019). Enhancing Electoral Equality: Can Education Compensate for Family Background Differences in Voting Participation?. American Political Science Review, 113(1), 108-122
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Enhancing Electoral Equality: Can Education Compensate for Family Background Differences in Voting Participation?
2019 (English)In: American Political Science Review, ISSN 0003-0554, E-ISSN 1537-5943, Vol. 113, no 1, p. 108-122Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

It is well documented that voter turnout is lower among persons who grow up in families from a low socioeconomic status compared with persons from high-status families. This paper examines whether reforms in education can help reduce this gap. We establish causality by exploiting a pilot scheme preceding a large reform of Swedish upper secondary education in the early 1990s, which gave rise to exogenous variation in educational attainment between individuals living in different municipalities or born in different years. Similar to recent studies employing credible identification strategies, we fail to find a statistically significant average effect of education on political participation. We move past previous studies, however, and show that the reform nevertheless contributed to narrowing the voting gap between individuals of different social backgrounds by raising turnout among those from low socioeconomic status households. The results thus square well with other recent studies arguing that education is particularly important for uplifting politically marginalized groups.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-368416 (URN)10.1017/S0003055418000746 (DOI)000458492100008 ()
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilEU, European Research Council
Available from: 2018-12-04 Created: 2018-12-04 Last updated: 2019-03-12Bibliographically approved
Linner, R. K., Oskarsson, S., Lindgren, K.-O. & Beauchamp, J. P. (2019). Genome-wide association analyses of risk tolerance and risky behaviors in over 1 million individuals identify hundreds of loci and shared genetic influences. Nature Genetics, 51(2), 245-257
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Genome-wide association analyses of risk tolerance and risky behaviors in over 1 million individuals identify hundreds of loci and shared genetic influences
2019 (English)In: Nature Genetics, ISSN 1061-4036, E-ISSN 1546-1718, Vol. 51, no 2, p. 245-257Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Humans vary substantially in their willingness to take risks. In a combined sample of over 1 million individuals, we conducted genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of general risk tolerance, adventurousness, and risky behaviors in the driving, drinking, smoking, and sexual domains. Across all GWAS, we identified hundreds of associated loci, including 99 loci associated with general risk tolerance. We report evidence of substantial shared genetic influences across risk tolerance and the risky behaviors: 46 of the 99 general risk tolerance loci contain a lead SNP for at least one of our other GWAS, and general risk tolerance is genetically correlated (vertical bar(r) over cap (g)vertical bar similar to 0.25 to 0.50) with a range of risky behaviors. Bioinformatics analyses imply that genes near SNPs associated with general risk tolerance are highly expressed in brain tissues and point to a role for glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission. We found no evidence of enrichment for genes previously hypothesized to relate to risk tolerance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2019
National Category
Medical Genetics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-377211 (URN)10.1038/s41588-018-0309-3 (DOI)000457314300011 ()30643258 (PubMedID)
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 421-2013-1061EU, European Research Council, 647648 EdGe
Note

For complete list of authors see http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-018-0309-3

Available from: 2019-02-25 Created: 2019-02-25 Last updated: 2019-02-25Bibliographically approved
Lee, J. J., Wedow, R., Okbay, A., Kong, E., Maghzian, O., Zacher, M., . . . Cesarini, D. (2018). Gene discovery and polygenic prediction from a genome-wide association study of educational attainment in 1.1 million individuals. Nature Genetics, 50(8), 1112-+
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Gene discovery and polygenic prediction from a genome-wide association study of educational attainment in 1.1 million individuals
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2018 (English)In: Nature Genetics, ISSN 1061-4036, E-ISSN 1546-1718, Vol. 50, no 8, p. 1112-+Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Here we conducted a large-scale genetic association analysis of educational attainment in a sample of approximately 1.1 million individuals and identify 1,271 independent genome-wide-significant SNPs. For the SNPs taken together, we found evidence of heterogeneous effects across environments. The SNPs implicate genes involved in brain-development processes and neuron-to-neuron communication. In a separate analysis of the X chromosome, we identify 10 independent genome-wide-significant SNPs and estimate a SNP heritability of around 0.3% in both men and women, consistent with partial dosage compensation. A joint (multi-phenotype) analysis of educational attainment and three related cognitive phenotypes generates polygenic scores that explain 11-13% of the variance in educational attainment and 7-10% of the variance in cognitive performance. This prediction accuracy substantially increases the utility of polygenic scores as tools in research.

National Category
Medical Genetics Biological Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-364492 (URN)10.1038/s41588-018-0147-3 (DOI)000440423400010 ()30038396 (PubMedID)
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2017-00641; 421-2013-1061Ragnar Söderbergs stiftelseThe Jan Wallander and Tom Hedelius FoundationNIH (National Institute of Health), P01-AG005842; P01-AG005842-20S2; P30-AG012810; T32-AG000186-23; R01-AG042568EU, European Research Council, 647648 EdGe
Available from: 2018-10-29 Created: 2018-10-29 Last updated: 2018-10-29Bibliographically approved
Oskarsson, S., Dawes, C. & Lindgren, K.-O. (2018). It Runs in the Family: A Study of Political Candidacy Among Swedish Adoptees. Political Behavior, 40(4), 883-908
Open this publication in new window or tab >>It Runs in the Family: A Study of Political Candidacy Among Swedish Adoptees
2018 (English)In: Political Behavior, ISSN 0190-9320, E-ISSN 1573-6687, Vol. 40, no 4, p. 883-908Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

What motivates citizens to run for office? Recent work has shown that early life parental socialization is strongly associated with a desire to run for office. However, parents not only shape their children's political environment, they also pass along their genes to those same children. A growing area of research has shown that individual differences in a wide range of political behaviors and attitudes are linked to genetic differences. As a result, genetic factors may confound the observed political similarities among parents and their children. This study analyzes Swedish register data containing information on all nominated and elected candidates in the ten parliamentary, county council, and municipal elections from 1982 to 2014 for a large sample of adoptees and their adoptive and biological parents. By studying the similarity in political ambition within both adoptive and biological families, our research design allows us to disentangle so-called pre-birth factors, such as genes and pre-natal environment, and post-birth factors like parental socialization. We find that the likelihood of standing as a political candidate is twice as high if one's parent has been a candidate. We also find that the effects of pre-birth and post-birth factors are approximately equal in size. In addition, we test a number of potential pre- and post-birth transmission mechanisms. First, disconfirming our expectations, the pre-birth effects do not seem to be mediated by cognitive ability or leadership skills. Second, consistent with a role modeling mechanism, we find evidence of a strong transmission in candidacy status between rearing mothers and their daughters.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2018
Keywords
Political candidacy, Intergenerational transmission, Adoption study, Pre- and post-birth effects, Role modeling
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-368631 (URN)10.1007/s11109-017-9429-1 (DOI)000449298800004 ()
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilEU, European Research Council
Available from: 2018-12-06 Created: 2018-12-06 Last updated: 2019-01-15Bibliographically approved
Turley, P., Walters, R. K., Maghzian, O., Okbay, A., Lee, J. J., Fontana, M. A., . . . Benjamin, D. J. (2018). Multi-trait analysis of genome-wide association summary statistics using MTAG. Nature Genetics, 50(2), 229-237
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Multi-trait analysis of genome-wide association summary statistics using MTAG
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2018 (English)In: Nature Genetics, ISSN 1061-4036, E-ISSN 1546-1718, Vol. 50, no 2, p. 229-237Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We introduce multi-trait analysis of GWAS (MTAG), a method for joint analysis of summary statistics from genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of different traits, possibly from overlapping samples. We apply MTAG to summary statistics for depressive symptoms (N-eff = 354,862), neuroticism (N = 168,105), and subjective well-being (N = 388,538). As compared to the 32, 9, and 13 genome-wide significant loci identified in the single-trait GWAS (most of which are themselves novel), MTAG increases the number of associated loci to 64, 37, and 49, respectively. Moreover, association statistics from MTAG yield more informative bioinformatics analyses and increase the variance explained by polygenic scores by approximately 25%, matching theoretical expectations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2018
National Category
Genetics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-347099 (URN)10.1038/s41588-017-0009-4 (DOI)000424519200014 ()29292387 (PubMedID)
Funder
Ragnar Söderbergs stiftelse, E9/11, E42/15Swedish Research Council, 421-2013-1061The Jan Wallander and Tom Hedelius FoundationEU, European Research Council, 647648 EdGe
Available from: 2018-03-26 Created: 2018-03-26 Last updated: 2018-03-26Bibliographically approved
Lindgren, K.-O., Oskarsson, S. & Dawes, C. (2017). Can Political Inequalities Be Educated Away? Evidence from a Large-scale Reform. American Journal of Political Science, 61(1), 222-236
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Can Political Inequalities Be Educated Away? Evidence from a Large-scale Reform
2017 (English)In: American Journal of Political Science, ISSN 0092-5853, E-ISSN 1540-5907, Vol. 61, no 1, p. 222-236Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Over the years, many suggestions have been made on how to reduce the importance of family background in political recruitment. In this study, we examine the effectiveness of one such proposal: the expansion of mass education. We utilize a difference-in-difference strategy to analyze how a large school reform launched in Sweden in the 1950s, which lengthened schooling and postponed tracking, affected the likelihood of individuals with different family backgrounds to run for public office. The data come from public registers and pertain to the entire Swedish population born between 1943 and 1955. The empirical analysis provides strong support for the view that improved educational opportunities for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds can be an effective means to reduce the social bias of elected assemblies.

National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-302806 (URN)10.1111/ajps.12261 (DOI)000394162600015 ()
Available from: 2016-09-09 Created: 2016-09-09 Last updated: 2019-09-18Bibliographically approved
Oskarsson, S., Thisted Dinesen, P., Dawes, C. T., Johannesson, M. & Magnusson, P. K. E. (2017). Education and Social Trust: Testing a Causal Hypothesis Using the Discordant Twin Design. Political Psychology, 38(3), 515-531
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Education and Social Trust: Testing a Causal Hypothesis Using the Discordant Twin Design
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2017 (English)In: Political Psychology, ISSN 0162-895X, E-ISSN 1467-9221, Vol. 38, no 3, p. 515-531Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

One of the clearest results in previous studies on social trust is the robust positive relationship with educational attainment. The most common interpretation is that education has a causal effect on social trust. The theoretical argument and empirical results in this article suggest a different interpretation. We argue that common preadult factors such as cognitive abilities and personality traits rooted in genes and early-life family environment may confound the relationship between educational attainment and social trust. We provide new evidence on this question by utilizing the quasi-experiment of twinning. By looking at the relationship between education and social trust within monozygotic (MZ) twin pairs, we are able to avoid potential confounders rooted in genetic factors and common environmental influences because the monozygotic twins share both. The results suggest that when controlling for such familial factors the estimated effects of education on social trust are close to zero and far from reaching statistical significance. Further analyses show that the relationship between education and social trust largely is driven by common genetic factors.

Keywords
education, social trust, discordant twin design, Cholesky decomposition
National Category
Social Anthropology Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-324244 (URN)10.1111/pops.12343 (DOI)000400968500008 ()
Funder
The Jan Wallander and Tom Hedelius FoundationForte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and WelfareSwedish Research Council
Available from: 2017-06-14 Created: 2017-06-14 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved
Lindgren, K.-O., Oskarsson, S. & Persson, M. (2017). Ledde förlängd gymnasieutbildning till ökat valdeltagande?. IFAU
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Ledde förlängd gymnasieutbildning till ökat valdeltagande?
2017 (Swedish)Report (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IFAU, 2017
Series
IFAU Rapport 2017:12
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-369487 (URN)
Available from: 2018-12-13 Created: 2018-12-13 Last updated: 2018-12-13
Dancygier, R., Lindgren, K.-O., Oskarsson, S. & Vernby, K. (2017). Representationsgapet. In: Bevelander, Pieter; Spång, Mikael (Ed.), Valdeltagande och representation: om invandring och politisk integration i Sverige. Delmi
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Representationsgapet
2017 (Swedish)In: Valdeltagande och representation: om invandring och politisk integration i Sverige / [ed] Bevelander, Pieter; Spång, Mikael, Delmi , 2017Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Delmi, 2017
Series
Rapport / Delegationen för migrationsstudier ; 2017:7
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-369485 (URN)9789188021236 (ISBN)
Available from: 2018-12-13 Created: 2018-12-13 Last updated: 2019-04-11Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0001-8698-2866

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