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Violence, bribery, and fraud: the political economy of elections in Sub-Saharan Africa

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  • Paul Collier

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  • Pedro Vicente

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Abstract

Post-Soviet African democratization has introduced elections into contexts that often lack restraints upon the behavior of candidates, resulting in the emergence of voter intimidation, vote-buying, and ballot fraud. We propose a model of electoral competition where, although some voters oppose violence, it is effective in intimidating swing voters. We show that in equilibrium a weak challenger will use violence, which corresponds to a terrorism strategy. Similarly, a nationally weak incumbent will use repression. However, a stronger incumbent facing local competition will prefer to use bribery or ballot fraud. We discuss the applicability of the model to several African elections. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Collier & Pedro Vicente, 2012. "Violence, bribery, and fraud: the political economy of elections in Sub-Saharan Africa," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 153(1), pages 117-147, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:153:y:2012:i:1:p:117-147 DOI: 10.1007/s11127-011-9777-z
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Dmitriy Vorobyev, 2016. "Participation in fraudulent elections," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, pages 863-892.
    2. Isaksson, Ann-Sofie & Bigsten, Arne, 2014. "Clientelism and ethnic divisions," Working Papers in Economics 598, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    3. Roxana Gutiérrez-Romero, 2012. "An Inquiry into the Use of Illegal Electoral Practices and Effects of Political Violence," CSAE Working Paper Series 2012-16, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    4. Aidt, Toke & Asatryan, Zareh & Badalyan, Lusine & Heinemann, Friedrich, 2015. "Vote buying or (political) business (cycles) as usual?," ZEW Discussion Papers 15-017, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    5. Smets,Lodewijk & Knack,Stephen, 2015. "World Bank policy lending and the quality of public sector governance," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7267, The World Bank.
    6. Toke Aidt & Peter Jensen, 2013. "Democratization and the size of government: evidence from the long 19th century," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 157(3), pages 511-542, December.
    7. Aidt, T.S. & Jensen, P.S., 2012. "From Open to Secret Ballot: Vote Buying and Modernization," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1221, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    8. Olivier Sterck, 2015. "Fighting for votes: theory and evidence on the causes of electoral violence," CSAE Working Paper Series 2015-19, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    9. Pierre André & Sandrine Mesplé-Somps, 2013. "Sitting on the fence: Pork-barrels and democratization under threat of conflict. The case of Ghana, 1996 - 2004," THEMA Working Papers 2013-24, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    10. Vardan Baghdasaryan & Giovanna Iannantuoni & Valeria Maggian, 2017. "Electoral Fraud and Voter Turnout: An experimental study," Working Papers halshs-01511596, HAL.
    11. Andrea Colombo & Olivia D'Aoust & Olivier Sterck, 2014. "From Rebellion to Electoral Violence. Evidence from Burundi," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2014-33, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    12. repec:spr:soinre:v:133:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1410-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. repec:eee:deveco:v:129:y:2017:i:c:p:29-46 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. McGuirk,Eoin & Rajaram,Anand & Giugale,Marcelo, 2016. "The political economy of direct dividend transfers in resource-rich countries : a theoretical consideration," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7575, The World Bank.
    15. Alberto Alesina & Salvatore Piccolo & Paolo Pinotti, 2016. "Organized Crime, Violence, and Politics," NBER Working Papers 22093, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Dmitriy Vorobyev, 2010. "Growth of Electoral Fraud in Non-Democracies: The Role of Uncertainty," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp420, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    17. Vardan, Baghdasaryan & Giovanna, Iannantuoni & Valeria, Maggian, 2015. "Electoral fraud and voter turnout," Working Papers 315, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised 25 Nov 2015.
    18. Wolitzky, Alexander, 2013. "Endogenous institutions and political extremism," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 86-100.
    19. Nick Obradovich, 2017. "Climate change may speed democratic turnover," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 140(2), pages 135-147, January.
    20. Dey, Oindrila & Das, Abhishek & Gupta, Gautam & Banerjee, Swapnendu, 2017. "Favouritism Or Fairness?: A Framed Laboratory Experiment," MPRA Paper 80214, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    21. Clayton,Amanda & Noveck,Jennifer Lynn & Levi,Margaret, 2015. "When elites meet : decentralization, power-sharing, and public goods provision in post-conflict Sierra Leone," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7335, The World Bank.
    22. Pierre André & Sandrine Mesplé-Somps, 2017. "Sitting on the fence: Pork - barrels and democratization under threat of conflict. The case of Ghana, 1996 - 2004," Working Papers hal-01619605, HAL.
    23. repec:dau:papers:123456789/12022 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Violence; Fraud; Vote-buying; Electoral politics; Political economy; Sub-Saharan Africa; D72; O55; P16;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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