Does Education Affect Opinions on Economic Inequality? A Mean & Dispersion Analysis

Rüya Gökhan Koçer, Herman G. van de Werfhorst

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Research on public opinion on economic inequality mainly focuses on the legitimation of inequalities and possible discrepancies between public opinion on fair economic inequality and factual income distributions. However, what has been neglected is the extent to which individual or country characteristics affect deviations from average public opinion. To account for these deviations, we establish a joint multi-level mean–dispersion model and scrutinize the impact of educational systems as a hitherto neglected factor that may affect dispersion in opinion distributions. Besides an individual’s level of education and welfare state characteristics, we show that vocational orientation of educational systems, too, has a substantial impact. This institutional feature appears to reduce the extent to which individual opinions deviate from average public opinion on the fairness of economic inequalities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251–272
JournalActa sociologica
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Dispersion
  • Education
  • Inequality
  • Legitimation
  • Redistribution


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