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The Value of Democracy: Evidence from Road Building in Kenya

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

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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19398.

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Date of creation: Sep 2013
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19398

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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. Conley, T. G., 1999. "GMM estimation with cross sectional dependence," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 1-45, September.
  3. Alesina, Alberto F & Michalopoulos, Stelios & Papaioannou, Elias, 2012. "Ethnic Inequality," CEPR Discussion Papers 9225, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Roland Hodler & Paul A. Raschky, 2010. "Foreign Aid and Enlightened Leaders," Working Papers 10.05, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.
  5. 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.
  6. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1999. "The Quality of Government," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 222-79, April.
  7. Francesco Caselli & Wilbur John Coleman II, 2008. "On the Theory of Ethnic Conflict," CEDI Discussion Paper Series 08-08, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.
  8. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  9. Nathan Nunn & Leonard Wantchekon, 2011. "The Slave Trade and the Origins of Mistrust in Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3221-52, December.
  10. Miguel, Edward & Gugerty, Mary Kay, 2005. "Ethnic diversity, social sanctions, and public goods in Kenya," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2325-2368, December.
  11. Guy Michaels, 2008. "The Effect of Trade on the Demand for Skill: Evidence from the Interstate Highway System," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 683-701, November.
  12. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Scholarly Articles 4553005, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  13. Masayuki Kudamatsu, 2012. "Has Democratization Reduced Infant Mortality In Sub-Saharan Africa? Evidence From Micro Data," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(6), pages 1294-1317, December.
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As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Ethnic Favoritism and Democracy [Kenya]
    by UDADISI in UDADISI on 2013-08-19 02:53:00
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Cited by:
  1. Ahlerup, Pelle & Isaksson, Ann-Sofie, 2014. "Ethno-regional favouritism in Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers in Economics 586, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  2. Isaksson, Ann-Sofie & Bigsten, Arne, 2014. "Clientelism and ethnic divisions," Working Papers in Economics 598, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  3. Jonas Hjort, 2013. "Ethnic Divisions and Production in Firms," CESifo Working Paper Series 4449, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. 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.
  5. Michael Carter & John Morrow, 2014. "The Political Economy of Inclusive Rural Growth," CEP Discussion Papers dp1259, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. Carolyn Chisadza & Manoel Bittencourt, 2014. "Is Democracy Eluding Sub-Saharan Africa?," Working Papers 201403, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.

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