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Do Elections Matter for Economic Performance

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  • Paul Collier
  • Anke Hoeffler
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    Abstract

    In mature democracies, elections discipline leaders to deliver good economic performance.� Since the fall of the Soviet Union most developing countries also hold elections, but these are often marred by illicit tactics.� Using a new global data set, this paper investigates whether these illicit tactics are merely blemishes or substantially undermine the economic efficacy of elections.� We show that illicit tactics are widespread, and that they reduce the incentive for governments to deliver good economic performance.� Revisiting the celebrated result that 'leaders matter', we show that it is dependent upon the absence of clean elections: changes of leader matter a lot in systems without clean elections, whereas in those with clean elections they are not significant.

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    File URL: http://www.csae.ox.ac.uk/workingpapers/pdfs/2010-35text.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number CSAE WPS/2010-35.

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    Date of creation: 01 Nov 2010
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    Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:csae-wps/2010-35

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    1. Sidman, Andrew H. & Mak, Maxwell & Lebo, Matthew J., 2008. "Forecasting non-incumbent presidential elections: Lessons learned from the 2000 election," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 237-258.
    2. Paul Collier & Lisa Chauvet, 2008. "Elections and Economic Policy in Developing Countries," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2008-34, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    3. Andrew Leigh, 2009. "Does the World Economy Swing National Elections?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 71(2), pages 163-181, 04.
    4. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson, 2009. "The Origins of State Capacity: Property Rights, Taxation, and Politics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1218-44, September.
    5. Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2005. "Do Leaders Matter? National Leadership and Growth Since World War II," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(3), pages 835-864, August.
    6. Beck, T.H.L. & Clarke, G. & Groff, A. & Keefer , P. & Walsh, P., 2001. "New tools in comparative political economy: The database of political institutions," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3125517, Tilburg University.
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