Education, the wealth of nations, and political tolerance toward homosexuals: a multilevel analysis of 26 countries in the Americas

While the positive effect of education on political tolerance toward minorities is well-known, we understand far less about education’s impact on tolerance across varying contexts. Utilizing multilevel statistical techniques, we find an interactive effect indicating that education at the individual level has a greater effect on political tolerance toward those who identify as homosexuals in wealthier countries. The results suggest that (1) completing additional levels of schooling may be insufficient to promote tolerant attitudes toward this minority and (2) more investment in education leads to stronger impacts. We support this finding by showing that where educational expenditures are greater, the average impact of secondary education is larger. The study uses individual data from 26 countries in the 2014 AmericasBarometer as well as indicators from the World Bank DataBank and Freedom House.