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Politics and the geographic allocation of public funds in a semi-democracy. The case of Ghana, 1996 - 2004

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  • Pierre Andre

    (THEMA - Théorie économique, modélisation et applications - CNRS : UMR8184 - Université de Cergy Pontoise)

  • Sandrine Mesplé-Somps

    (DIAL - Développement, institutions et analyses de long terme - Institut de recherche pour le développement [IRD])

Abstract

The body of literature on purely democratic countries can sometimes fail to explain the behavior of government in semi-democratic African countries. Empirical and theoretical political economic papers find that public funds target ruling party supporters and swing districts. Our results, however, suggest that the opposite was true of Ghana. We observe that pro-government districts received less public investment when the NDC was in power. We posit that this _nding is partially driven by the government's will to curry favor with opposition politicians. Indeed, in addition to pursuing its electoral objectives, the government of an emerging democracy may fear political instability and keep the lid on potential unrest by bargaining with opposition leaders. Our analysis also shows that, when controlling for votes and other covariates (including wealth, urbanization and density), public goods allocation is not driven by ethnic group targeting either.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number halshs-00962698.

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Date of creation: Oct 2010
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00962698

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Keywords: Public goods ; Elections ; Politics ; Ghana;

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  1. Anne Case, 1997. "Election Goals and Income Redistribution: Recent Evidence From Albania," Working Papers 227, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  2. Schady, Norbert R., 1999. "Seeking votes - the political economy of expenditures by the Peruvian Social Fund (FONCODES), 1991-95," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2166, The World Bank.
  3. Jean-Paul Azam, 2006. "The Paradox of Power Reconsidered: A Theory of Political Regimes in Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 15(1), pages 26-58, March.
  4. Marcelin Joanis, 2011. "The road to power: partisan loyalty and the centralized provision of local infrastructure," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 146(1), pages 117-143, January.
  5. Dahlberg, Matz & Johansson, Eva, 1999. "On the Vote Purchasing Behavior of Incumbent Governments," Working Paper Series 1999:24, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  6. Banful, Afua Branoah, 2011. "Do formula-based intergovernmental transfer mechanisms eliminate politically motivated targeting? Evidence from Ghana," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 380-390, November.
  7. Akramov, Kamiljon T. & Asante, Felix Ankomah, 2008. "Decentralization and local public services in Ghana: Do geography and ethnic diversity matter?," GSSP working papers 16, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  8. Shawn A. Cole, 2008. "Fixing Market Failures or Fixing Elections? Agricultural Credit in India," Harvard Business School Working Papers 09-001, Harvard Business School.
  9. World Bank, 2008. "Ghana - Public Expenditures Review : Rural Water and Sanitation Sector," World Bank Other Operational Studies 7977, The World Bank.
  10. Levitt, Steven D & Snyder, James M, Jr, 1997. "The Impact of Federal Spending on House Election Outcomes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 30-53, February.
  11. Abhijit Banerjee & Rohini Somanathan, 2004. "The political economy of public goods: Some evidence from India," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 04-17, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
  12. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
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