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.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18425.
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Note: POL DEV
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
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)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Merlo, Antonio, 1996.
"Bargaining over governments in a stochastic environment,"
7476, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
- Merlo, Antonio, 1997. "Bargaining over Governments in a Stochastic Environment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 101-31, February.
- Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996.
"Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions,"
536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
- 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.
- Baumol, William J, 1982. "Contestable Markets: An Uprising in the Theory of Industry Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(1), pages 1-15, March.
- Yasutora Watanabe, 2008.
"Ministerial Weights and Government Formation: Estimation Using a Bargaining Model,"
Journal of Law, Economics and Organization,
Oxford University Press, vol. 24(1), pages 95-119, May.
- Yasutora Watanabe & Takanori Adachi, 2004. "Ministerial Weights and Government Formation: Estimation Using a Bargaining Model," Econometric Society 2004 Far Eastern Meetings 742, Econometric Society.
- Jennifer Gandhi & Adam Przeworski, 2006. "Cooperation, Cooptation, And Rebellion Under Dictatorships," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(1), pages 1-26, 03.
- Daron Acemoglu & Georgy Egorov & Konstantin Sonin, 2008. "Coalition Formation in Non-Democracies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(4), pages 987-1009.
- Fearon, James D, 2003. " Ethnic and Cultural Diversity by Country," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 195-222, June.
- Vuong, Quang H, 1989. "Likelihood Ratio Tests for Model Selection and Non-nested Hypotheses," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 307-33, March.
- Dimico, Arcangelo, 2014.
"Size Matters: The Effect of the Scramble for Africa on Informal Institutions and Development,"
QUCEH Working Paper Series
14-02, Queen's University Centre for Economic History, Queen's University Belfast.
- Dimico, Arcangelo, 2013. "Size Matters: The Effect of the Scramble for Africa on Informal Institutions and Development," MPRA Paper 54550, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 18 Mar 2014.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.