This paper aims to investigate whether a country’s youth cohort size and quality of democracy, independently and jointly predict young people’s propensity to support democracy as a political system. We use pooled data from World Values Survey Waves 5–7, comprising 81 country-waves with 25,125 observations from 39 established and new democracies, in multilevel binary logistic regression analyses. The paper finds evidence that firstly, against conventional expectations, a large youth cohort exerts a positive influence on young people’s support for democracy as a political system. Secondly, the effect of youth cohort size depends on the quality of democracy of countries: young people growing as part of the youth cohorts in established democracies show stronger propensities to support democracy than their peers in new democracies.
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