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The Demand for Power Diffusion: A Case Study of the 2005 Constitutional Referendum Voting in Kenya

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  • Mwangi S. Kimenyi

    (University of Connecticut)

Abstract

Recent studies on the history of economic development demonstrate that concentration of power on a monarch or a ruling coalition impedes economic growth and that institutional changes that diffuse power, though beneficial to the society in general, are opposed by some social groups. In November 2005, Kenyans rejected a proposed constitution primarily because it did not reduce the powers of the executive to any significant degree. Using data of voting patterns in the constitutional referendum and following the rational choice framework, I estimate a model of the demand for power diffusion and demonstrate that groups voting decisions depend on expected gains and likelihood of monopolizing power. The results also reveal the importance of ethnic divisions in hindering the power diffusion process, and therefore the study establishes a channel through which ethnic fragmentation impacts on economic development.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2006-11.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2006-11

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  1. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon H. & Robinson, James A., 2003. "The Rise of Europe: Atlantic Trade, Institutioanl Change and Economic Growth," Working papers 4269-02, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
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  8. Deacon, Robert T & Shapiro, Perry, 1975. "Private Preference for Collective Goods Revealed Through Voting on Referenda," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(5), pages 943-55, December.
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  12. Mwangi S. Kimenyi, 2006. "Ethnicity, Governance and the Provision of Public Goods," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 15(1), pages 62-99, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Mwangi S. Kimenyi, 2007. "Institutional Infrastructure to Support 'Super Growth' in Kenya: Governance Thresholds, Reversion Rates and Economic Development," Working papers 2007-32, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.

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