Mark Kleiman was asked why European countries have abolished the death penalty while America and Asia continue to use it. His theory was that “a Westminster system gives well-educated civil servants more power, and the well-educated mostly dislike capital punishment”. The second part of that theory seemed testable, so I checked it out in the GSS, running CAPPUN (supporting the death penalty for murderers is coded as 1, opposing it is 2) by EDUC (years of education). First the aggregate statistics.

Summary Statistics
Eta* = .11 Gamma = .02 Rao-Scott-P: F(20,3820) = 17.89 (p= 0.00)
R = .00 Tau-b = .01 Rao-Scott-LR: F(20,3820) = 17.19 (p= 0.00)
Somers’ d* = .01 Tau-c = .01 Chisq-P(20) = 498.91
Chisq-LR(20) = 479.30
*Row variable treated as the dependent variable.

Then broken down by years of education.

Frequency Distribution
Cells contain:
-Column percent
CAPPUN
1: FAVOR 2: OPPOSE ROW
TOTAL
Means Std Devs Unweighted N
EDUC 0 57.1 42.9 100.0 1.43 .50 95
1 57.2 42.8 100.0 1.43 .51 26
2 63.4 36.6 100.0 1.37 .48 90
3 47.0 53.0 100.0 1.53 .50 168
4 60.2 39.8 100.0 1.40 .49 224
5 56.4 43.6 100.0 1.44 .50 276
6 63.3 36.7 100.0 1.37 .48 523
7 68.1 31.9 100.0 1.32 .47 646
8 73.0 27.0 100.0 1.27 .44 1,926
9 70.0 30.0 100.0 1.30 .46 1,429
10 71.6 28.4 100.0 1.28 .45 1,988
11 71.4 28.6 100.0 1.29 .45 2,576
12 78.0 22.0 100.0 1.22 .41 13,311
13 76.2 23.8 100.0 1.24 .43 3,584
14 75.6 24.4 100.0 1.24 .43 4,546
15 72.7 27.3 100.0 1.27 .45 1,852
16 72.0 28.0 100.0 1.28 .45 5,118
17 69.0 31.0 100.0 1.31 .46 1,239
18 64.0 36.0 100.0 1.36 .48 1,460
19 65.2 34.8 100.0 1.35 .48 544
20 63.0 37.0 100.0 1.37 .48 814
COL TOTAL 73.6 26.4 100.0 1.26 .44 42,435
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