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Tribal heterogeneity and the allocation of publicly provided goods: Evidence from Yemen

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  • Egel, Daniel
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    Abstract

    This paper examines how tribes, the dominant political structure in rural areas of many developing countries, can affect the allocation of publicly provided goods. I create a dataset containing more than 4000 unique Yemeni local tribes and study their relationship with the public provision of educational goods. I demonstrate that areas with greater tribal heterogeneity receive larger allocations of publicly provided teachers and classrooms; I find evidence that this result reflects tribes' roles in influencing both political patronage from the state and targeted development transfers from development donors. This result, while different from most previous studies, reflects the nature of the publicly provided good being studied which is locally excludable precisely along the local tribal lines used for calculating heterogeneity. These results may offer generalizable insight into a variety of other developing country contexts where access to publicly provided goods is controlled or influenced by local groups.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

    Volume (Year): 101 (2013)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 228-232

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:101:y:2013:i:c:p:228-232

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec

    Related research

    Keywords: Ethnic diversity; Tribes; Local public goods; Patronage; Yemen;

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    1. Alesina, Alberto & Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William, 2000. "Redistributive Public Employment," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 219-241, September.
    2. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00476016 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Banerjee, Abhijit & Somanathan, Rohini, 2007. "The political economy of public goods: Some evidence from India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 287-314, March.
    4. Miguel, Edward & Gugerty, Mary Kay, 2005. "Ethnic diversity, social sanctions, and public goods in Kenya," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2325-2368, December.
    5. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1997. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," NBER Working Papers 6009, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Scholarly Articles 4553005, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    7. Catherine Bros, 2010. "Social fragmentation and public goods : polarization, inequality and patronage in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 10026, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    8. Fearon, James D, 2003. " Ethnic and Cultural Diversity by Country," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 195-222, June.
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    Cited by:
    1. Mesplé-Somps, Sandrine & Mercier, Marion & Gubert, Flore & Chauvet, Lisa, 2013. "Migrants' Home Town Associations and Local Development in Mali," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/12021, Paris Dauphine University.

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