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The illusory leader: natural resources, taxation and accountability

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  • Eoin McGuirk

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Abstract

This paper proposes and tests a mechanism through which natural resources can affect democracy. I posit that, in the presence of high natural resource rents, leaders lower the burden of taxation on citizens in order to reduce the demand for democratic accountability. The theory is corroborated using micro-level data from public opinion surveys across 15 sub-Saharan countries, in addition to country-level data on natural resource rents. Results are robust to a range of alternative specifications. A supplementary analysis reveals that, consistent with the two-period model proposed, the effects are more acute closer to national elections. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

Volume (Year): 154 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 (March)
Pages: 285-313

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Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:154:y:2013:i:3:p:285-313

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100332

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Keywords: Democracy; Political economy; Natural resources; Curses; Africa; D73; O13; O55;

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Cited by:
  1. Baskaran, Thushyanthan, 2014. "Taxation and Democratization," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 287-301.
  2. Shantayanan Devarajan, Hélène Ehrhart, Tuan Minh Le, Gaël Raballan, 2011. " Direct Redistribution, Taxation, and Accountability in Oil-Rich Economies- A Proposal- Working Paper 281," Working Papers 281, Center for Global Development.
  3. Ernesto Crivelli & Sanjeev Gupta, 2014. "Resource Blessing, Revenue Curse? Domestic Revenue Effort in Resource-Rich Countries," IMF Working Papers 14/5, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Alexander James, 2014. "US State Fiscal Policy and Natural Resources," OxCarre Working Papers 126, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
  5. Pedro L. Rodríguez, José R. Morales, Fancisco J. Monaldi, 2012. "Direct Distribution of Oil Revenues in Venezuela: A Viable Alternative?," Working Papers 306, Center for Global Development.

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