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Multiparty Competition, Founding Elections and Political Business Cycles in Africa

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  • Steven A. Block
  • Karen E. Ferree
  • Smita Singh

Abstract

Political business cycle (PBC) theory and empirics typically assume that elections are competitive. Yet, as empirical work on PBCs turns increasingly to developing countries for evidence, this assumption becomes untenable. We propose and test two empirical hypotheses regarding PBCs: first, we should only see cycles when elections involve multiparty competition; secondly, we should see larger cycles in 'founding' elections. Using a new indicator of multiparty competition and macroeconomic data from Africa, we find strong support for our first hypothesis and moderate support for the second. These findings have implications for democratic transitions and the compatibility of economic and political reform in nascent democracies. Copyright 2003, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE) in its journal Journal of African Economies.

Volume (Year): 12 (2003)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 444-468

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Handle: RePEc:oup:jafrec:v:12:y:2003:i:3:p:444-468

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Cited by:
  1. Vaaler, Paul M., 2006. "Electoral Politics and Foreign Project Investment in Developing Countries," Working Papers 06-0125, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Business.
  2. Clémence Vergne, 2011. "Democracy, Elections and Allocation of Public Expenditure in Developing Countries," Working Papers halshs-00564572, HAL.
  3. Martinez, Leonardo, 2009. "A theory of political cycles," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(3), pages 1166-1186, May.
  4. Kapstein, Ethan & Converse, Nathan, 2006. "The Economics of Young Democracies: Policies and Performance," MPRA Paper 553, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Ethan Kapstein & Nathan Converse, 2006. "The Economics of Young Democracies: Policies and Performance," Working Papers 85, Center for Global Development.
  6. Diallo, Oumar, 2009. "Tortuous road toward countercyclical fiscal policy: Lessons from democratized sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 36-50.
  7. Mijiyawa, Abdoul, 2008. "Inflation and Democracy in Former Extractive Colonies Analysis with a New Instrumental Variable," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Zurich 2008 28, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
  8. Justesen, Mogens K., 2012. "Democracy, dictatorship, and disease: Political regimes and HIV/AIDS," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 373-389.
  9. Steven A. Block & Burkhard N. Schrage & Paul M. Vaaler, 2003. "DEMOCRACY’S SPREAD: Elections and Sovereign Debt in Developing Countries," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2003-575, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  10. Jakob Haan & Jeroen Klomp, 2013. "Conditional political budget cycles: a review of recent evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 157(3), pages 387-410, December.

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