Democracy and Education Spending: Has Africas Move to Multiparty Elections Made a Difference to Policy?
AbstractWhile it is generally recognized that electoral competition can have a major influence on public spending decisions, there has been little effort to consider whether the move to multiparty elections in African countries in recent years has led to a redistribution of public expenditures between social groups. In this paper I develop a hypothesis, illustrated with a simple game-theoretic model, which suggests that the need to obtain an electoral majority may have prompted African governments to devote greater resources to primary schools. I test this proposition using panel data on electoral competition and education spending in thirty-five African countries over the period 1981-1996. The results show that democratization has indeed been associated with greater spending on primary schools, and these findings are robust to controls for unobserved country effects. They are also supported by evidence from recent country cases. Though the reemergence of multiparty democracy in Africa has not led to a wholesale transformation of economic policies, these findings nonetheless suggest that it may be having a significant impact in individual policy areas.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE in its series STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers with number 37.
Date of creation: Feb 2003
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Primary education; political economy; democracy; electoral competition.;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
- I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
- O11 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2003-10-28 (All new papers)
- NEP-EDU-2003-10-28 (Education)
- NEP-POL-2003-10-28 (Positive Political Economics)
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