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This paper uses a unique data set on over 1,400 world leaders between 1848 and 2004 to investigate differences in educational qualifications between leaders who are selected in democracies and autocracies. After including country and year fixed effects, we find that democracies are around 20% more likely to select highly educated leaders. This finding is robust to a wide range of specifications, choices of subsamples, controls, and ways of measuring education and democracy.doi:10.1017/s0003055411000281 fatcat:ffyienkiqvhmncawbswb3oghau