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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 Department of Economics, Bar-Ilan University 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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References

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  1. Alesina, Alberto & Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William, 1999. "Public goods and ethnic divisions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2108, The World Bank.
  2. Qian, Nancy, 2006. "Missing Women and the Price of Tea in China: The Effect of Sex-Specific Earnings on Sex Imbalance," CEPR Discussion Papers 5986, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  6. Habyarimana, James P. & Humphreys, Macartan & Posner, Daniel N. & Weinstein, Jeremy, 2006. "Why Does Ethnic Diversity Undermine Public Goods Provision? An Experimental Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 2272, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Watson, Tara, 2006. "Public health investments and the infant mortality gap: Evidence from federal sanitation interventions on U.S. Indian reservations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1537-1560, September.
  8. Besley, Timothy & Case, Anne, 2000. "Unnatural Experiments? Estimating the Incidence of Endogenous Policies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(467), pages F672-94, November.
  9. Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2005. "Do Leaders Matter? National Leadership and Growth Since World War II," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(3), pages 835-864, August.
  10. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Scholarly Articles 4553005, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  11. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275, February.
  12. Chin, Aimee, 2005. "Can redistributing teachers across schools raise educational attainment? Evidence from Operation Blackboard in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 384-405, December.
  13. Sen, Amartya, 1998. "Mortality as an Indicator of Economic Success and Failure," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(446), pages 1-25, January.
  14. Hoyt Bleakley, 2007. "Disease and Development: Evidence from Hookworm Eradication in the American South," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(1), pages 73-117, 02.
  15. Cécily Defoort, 2008. "Long-term trends in international migration : an analysis of the six main receiving countries," Population (english edition), Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED), vol. 63(2), pages 285-317.
  16. Paul Schultz, T., 2004. "School subsidies for the poor: evaluating the Mexican Progresa poverty program," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 199-250, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Yann Bramoullé & Sanjeev Goyal, 2009. "Favoritism," Cahiers de recherche 0941, CIRPEE.
  2. Alberto Alesina & Stelios Michalopoulos & Elias Papaioannou, 2012. "Ethnic Inequality," Working Papers 2012-14, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  3. Isaksson, Ann-Sofie & Bigsten, Arne, 2014. "Clientelism and ethnic divisions," Working Papers in Economics 598, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  4. 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.
  5. Burgess, Robin & Jedwab, Remi & Miguel, Edward & Morjaria, Ameet & Padró i Miquel, Gerard, 2013. "The Value of Democracy: Evidence from Road Building in Kenya," CEPR Discussion Papers 9627, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Roland Hodler, 2012. "The Political Economics of the Arab Spring," CESifo Working Paper Series 4023, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. 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).
  8. Stelios Michalopoulos & Elias Papaioannou, 2011. "Divide and Rule or the Rule of the Divided? Evidence from Africa," Economics Working Papers 0099, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00907277 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. 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.
  14. Andrea Guariso & Marijke Verpoorten, 2014. "Armed conflict and schooling in Rwanda: Digging deeper," HiCN Working Papers 166, Households in Conflict Network.
  15. Ahlerup, Pelle & Isaksson, Ann-Sofie, 2014. "Ethno-regional favouritism in Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers in Economics 586, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.

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