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Multiparty Competition, Founding Elections and Political Business Cycles in Africa

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  • Steven A. Block
  • Karen E. Ferree
  • Smita Singh

Abstract

Political business cycle (PBC) theory and empirics typically assume that elections are competitive. Yet, as empirical work on PBCs turns increasingly to developing countries for evidence, this assumption becomes untenable. We propose and test two empirical hypotheses regarding PBCs: first, we should only see cycles when elections involve multiparty competition; secondly, we should see larger cycles in 'founding' elections. Using a new indicator of multiparty competition and macroeconomic data from Africa, we find strong support for our first hypothesis and moderate support for the second. These findings have implications for democratic transitions and the compatibility of economic and political reform in nascent democracies. Copyright 2003, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven A. Block & Karen E. Ferree & Smita Singh, 2003. "Multiparty Competition, Founding Elections and Political Business Cycles in Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 12(3), pages 444-468, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jafrec:v:12:y:2003:i:3:p:444-468
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Eric Dubois, 2016. "Political business cycles 40 years after Nordhaus," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 166(1), pages 235-259, January.
    2. Vergne, Clémence, 2009. "Democracy, elections and allocation of public expenditures in developing countries," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 63-77, March.
    3. Robert H. Bates, 2005. "Political Reform," CID Working Papers 114, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    4. Martinez, Leonardo, 2009. "A theory of political cycles," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(3), pages 1166-1186, May.
    5. Mijiyawa, Abdoul, 2008. "Inflation and Democracy in Former Extractive Colonies Analysis with a New Instrumental Variable," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Zurich 2008 28, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
    6. Laopodis, Nikiforos T. & Merika, Anna A. & Triantafillou, Annie, 2016. "Unraveling the political budget cycle nexus in Greece," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 13-27.
    7. Justesen, Mogens K., 2012. "Democracy, dictatorship, and disease: Political regimes and HIV/AIDS," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 373-389.
    8. Antoine Cazals & Pierre Mandon, 2015. "Political Budget Cycles: Manipulation of Leaders or Bias from Research? A Meta-Regression Analysis," Working Papers halshs-01238883, HAL.
    9. Antoine CAZALS & Pierre MANDON, 2016. "Political Budget Cycles: Manipulation from Leaders or Manipulation from Researchers? Evidence from a Meta-Regression Analysis," Working Papers 201609, CERDI.
    10. Prichard, Wilson, 2016. "Electoral Competitiveness, Tax Bargaining and Political Incentives in Developing Countries: Evidence from Political Budget Cycles Affecting Taxation," Working Papers 13713, Institute of Development Studies, International Centre for Tax and Development.
    11. Kapstein, Ethan & Converse, Nathan, 2006. "The Economics of Young Democracies: Policies and Performance," MPRA Paper 553, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Antoine Cazals & Pierre Mandon, 2016. "Political Budget Cycles: Manipulation from Leaders or Manipulation from Researchers? Evidence from a Meta-Regression Analysis," Working Papers halshs-01320586, HAL.
    13. Ethan Kapstein & Nathan Converse, 2006. "The Economics of Young Democracies: Policies and Performance," Working Papers 85, Center for Global Development.
    14. Jakob Haan & Jeroen Klomp, 2013. "Conditional political budget cycles: a review of recent evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 157(3), pages 387-410, December.
    15. Steven A. Block & Burkhard N. Schrage & Paul M. Vaaler, 2003. "DEMOCRACY???S SPREAD: Elections and Sovereign Debt in Developing Countries," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2003-575, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    16. Vaaler, Paul M., 2006. "Electoral Politics and Foreign Project Investment in Developing Countries," Working Papers 06-0125, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Business.
    17. Eric Dubois, 2016. "Political Business Cycles 40 Years after Nordhaus," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-01291401, HAL.
    18. repec:hal:journl:hal-01291401 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Diallo, Oumar, 2009. "Tortuous road toward countercyclical fiscal policy: Lessons from democratized sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 36-50.

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