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The Value of Democracy: Evidence from Road Building in Kenya

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  • Burgess, Robin
  • Jedwab, Remi
  • Miguel, Edward
  • Morjaria, Ameet
  • Padró i Miquel, Gerard

Abstract

Ethnic favoritism is seen as antithetical to development. This paper provides credible quantification of the extent of ethnic favoritism using data on road building in Kenyan districts across the 1963-2011 period. Guided by a model it then examines whether the transition in and out of democracy under the same president constrains or exacerbates ethnic favoritism. Across the 1963 to 2011 period, we find strong evidence of ethnic favoritism: districts that share the ethnicity of the president receive twice as much expenditure on roads and have four times the length of paved roads built. This favoritism disappears during periods of democracy.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 9627.

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Date of creation: Sep 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9627

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  1. Michalopoulos, Stelios & Papaioannou, Elias, 2011. "The Long-Run Effects of the Scramble for Africa," CEPR Discussion Papers 8676, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Scholarly Articles 4553005, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Raphaёl Franck & Ilia Rainer, 2012. "Does the Leader’s Ethnicity Matter? Ethnic Favoritism, Education and Health in Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers 2012-06, Department of Economics, Bar-Ilan University.
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  6. Michaels, Guy, 2007. "The Effect of Trade on the Demand for Skill - Evidence from the Interstate Highway System," CEPR Discussion Papers 6056, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Goverment," NBER Working Papers 6727, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-50, November.
  9. Roland Hodler & Paul A. Raschky, 2010. "Foreign Aid and Enlightened Leaders," Working Papers 10.05, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.
  10. Masayuki Kudamatsu, 2007. "Has Democratization Reduced Infant Mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa? Evidence from Micro Data," ISER Discussion Paper 0685, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  11. Conley, T. G., 1999. "GMM estimation with cross sectional dependence," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 1-45, September.
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  1. Ethnic Favoritism and Democracy [Kenya]
    by UDADISI in UDADISI on 2013-08-19 02:53:00
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Cited by:
  1. Remi Jedwab & Alexander Moradi, 2013. "Transportation Technology and Economic Change: The Impact of Colonial Railroads on City Growth in Africa," CSAE Working Paper Series 2013-17, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  2. Jonas Hjort, 2013. "Ethnic Divisions and Production in Firms," CESifo Working Paper Series 4449, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Carolyn Chisadza & Manoel Bittencourt, 2014. "Is Democracy Eluding Sub-Saharan Africa?," Working Papers 201403, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
  4. 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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