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Organizing for prosperity : collective action, political parties and the political economy of development

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  • Keefer, Philip

Abstract

The ability of citizens to act collectively plays a central role in major debates in the political economy of development, including the causes and consequences of democratization and clientelism. This essay uses two lines of research to underscore the importance of explicitly introducing the organization of collective action into these debates. Exhaustive research on the management of open access resources demonstrates that citizens'ability to act collectively depends on non-trivial organizational arrangements that allow leaders to sanction free-riding and allow members to replace leaders if they shirk. Other research demonstrates wide variability in the organization of political parties. In countries where political parties do not have these two organizational characteristics, public policies are less friendly to economic development. This evidence suggests that in future research on democracy, state-building and development, citizen organization should be a central object of analysis.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6583.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 2013
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6583

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Keywords: Parliamentary Government; Microfinance; Corporate Law; Politics and Government; Political Systems and Analysis;

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  1. Schmidt, David & Shupp, Robert & Walker, James & Ahn, T. K. & Ostrom, Elinor, 2001. "Dilemma games: game parameters and matching protocols," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 357-377, December.
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  7. Wiggins, Steven N & Libecap, Gary D, 1985. "Oil Field Unitization: Contractual Failure in the Presence of Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 368-85, June.
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