How Is Power Shared In Africa?
AbstractThis paper presents new evidence on the power sharing layout of national political elites in a panel of African countries, most of them autocracies. We present a model of coalition formation across ethnic groups and structurally estimate it employing data on the ethnicity of cabinet ministers since independence. As opposed to the view of a single ethnic elite monolithically controlling power, we show that African ruling coalitions are large and that political power is allocated proportionally to population shares across ethnic groups. This holds true even restricting the analysis to the subsample of the most powerful ministerial posts. We argue that the likelihood of revolutions from outsiders and the threat of coups from insiders are major forces explaining such allocations. Further, over-representation of the ruling ethnic group is quantitatively substantial, but not different from standard formateur premia in parliamentary democracies. We explore theoretically how proportional allocation for the elites of each group may still result in misallocations in the non-elite population.
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Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Note: POL DEV
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government
- O38 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
- O55 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AFR-2012-10-06 (Africa)
- NEP-ALL-2012-10-06 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2012-10-06 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-DEV-2012-10-06 (Development)
- NEP-POL-2012-10-06 (Positive Political Economics)
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