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Does the Leader’s Ethnicity Matter? Ethnic Favoritism, Education and Health in Sub-Saharan Africa

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  • Raphaёl Franck

    ()
    (Bar-Ilan University)

  • Ilia Rainer

Abstract

In this paper we reassess the role of ethnic favoritism in Sub-Saharan Africa. Using data from 18 African countries, we study how primary education and infant mortality of ethnic groups were affected by changes in the ethnicity of the countries’ leaders during the last fifty years. Our results indicate that the effects of ethnic favoritism are large and widespread, thus providing support for ethnicity-based explanations of Africa’s underdevelopment. We also conduct a crosscountry analysis of ethnic favoritism in Africa. We find that ethnic favoritism is less prevalent in countries with one dominant religion. In addition, our evidence suggests that stronger fiscal capacity may have enabled African leaders to provide more ethnic favors in education but not in infant mortality. Finally, political factors, linguistic differences and patterns of ethnic segregation are found to be poor predictors of ethnic favoritism.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2012-06.

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Length: 57 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:biu:wpaper:2012-06

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Cited by:
  1. Andrea Guariso & Marijke Verpoorten, 2014. "Armed conflict and schooling in Rwanda: Digging deeper," HiCN Working Papers 166, Households in Conflict Network.
  2. Cristina Bodea & Adrienne LeBas, 2013. "The Origins of Social Contracts: Attitudes toward Taxation in Urban Nigeria," CSAE Working Paper Series 2013-02, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  3. Stelios Michalopoulos & Elias Papaioannou, 2011. "Divide and Rule or the Rule of the Divided? Evidence from Africa," NBER Working Papers 17184, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Alesina, Alberto F & Michalopoulos, Stelios & Papaioannou, Elias, 2012. "Ethnic Inequality," CEPR Discussion Papers 9225, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Ahlerup, Pelle & Isaksson, Ann-Sofie, 2014. "Ethno-regional favouritism in Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers in Economics 586, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  6. Cristina Bodea & Adrienne LeBas, 2013. "The Origins of Social Contracts: Attitudes toward Taxation in Urban Nigeria," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2013-02, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  7. Bramoullé, Y. & Goyal, S., 2009. "Favoritism," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0942, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  8. Robin Burgess & Remi Jedwab & Edward Miguel & Ameet Morjaria & Gerard Padro i Miquel, 2013. "The Value of Democracy: Evidence from Road Building in Kenya," STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series 45, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  9. Mercier, Marion, 2013. "The Return of the Prodigy Son: Do Return Migrants Make Better Leaders?," IZA Discussion Papers 7780, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Isaksson, Ann-Sofie, 2013. "Corruption along ethnic lines: A study of individual corruption experiences in 17 African countries," Working Papers in Economics 571, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  11. Isaksson, Ann-Sofie & Bigsten, Arne, 2014. "Clientelism and ethnic divisions," Working Papers in Economics 598, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  12. Roland Hodler, 2012. "The Political Economics of the Arab Spring," CESifo Working Paper Series 4023, CESifo Group Munich.
  13. Guenther G. Schulze & Bambang Suharnoko Sjahrir & Nikita Zakharov, 2013. "Corruption in Russia," Discussion Paper Series 22, Department of International Economic Policy, University of Freiburg, revised Apr 2013.
  14. James Fenske & Achyuta Adhvaryu & Anant Nyshadham, 2014. "Early Life Circumstance and Adult Mental Health," Economics Series Working Papers 698, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  15. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00907277 is not listed on IDEAS

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