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Collective Action, Political Parties, and Pro-Development Public Policy

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Abstract

Broad consensus exists that the ability of political actors to make credible commitments is key to development. An important and little-explored determinant of the credibility of political commitments is the existence of organizations that facilitate citizen collective action to sanction political actors who renege. This paper focuses on one essential organization, the political party. Three measures of political parties are used to assess cross-country differences in the degree to which politicians facilitate the ability of citizens to act in their collective interest. Each of these measures is associated with superior development outcomes, above and beyond the effects of competitive elections. These results have implications for understanding the extraordinary economic success of some East Asian countries and notable lags among others. East Asian nondemocracies exhibit more institutionalized ruling parties than other nondemocracies, while East Asian democracies exhibit equally or less institutionalized parties. The evidence suggests that greater research and policy emphasis be placed on the organizational characteristics of countries that allow citizens to hold leaders accountable.

Suggested Citation

  • Keefer, Philip, 2011. "Collective Action, Political Parties, and Pro-Development Public Policy," Asian Development Review, Asian Development Bank, vol. 28(1), pages 94-118.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:adbadr:0005
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ghazala Mansuri, 2004. "Community-Based and -Driven Development: A Critical Review," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 19(1), pages 1-39.
    2. Beck, Thorsten & Clarke, George & Groff, Alberto & Keefer, Philip & Walsh, Patrick, 2000. "New tools and new tests in comparative political economy - the database of political institutions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2283, The World Bank.
    3. Vijayendra Rao & Ana Maria Ibanez, 2005. "The Social Impact of Social Funds in Jamaica: A 'Participatory Econometric' Analysis of Targeting, Collective Action, and Participation in Community-Driven Development," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(5), pages 788-838.
    4. Araujo, M. Caridad & Ferreira, Francisco H.G. & Lanjouw, Peter & Özler, Berk, 2008. "Local inequality and project choice: Theory and evidence from Ecuador," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1022-1046, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hanusch, Marek & Keefer, Philip, 2014. "Younger parties, bigger spenders? Party age and political budget cycles," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 1-18.
    2. Armin von Schiller, 2015. "Party System Institutionalization and Reliance on Personal Income Tax in Developing Countries," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 7351, Inter-American Development Bank.
    3. 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.
    4. Lawrence Sáez, 2013. "Methods in governance research: a review of research approaches," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series esid-017-13, BWPI, The University of Manchester.
    5. Raul V. Fabella, 2013. "State capacity, stakeholder buy-in, and collective action problems: the budget allocation case," Philippine Review of Economics, University of the Philippines School of Economics and Philippine Economic Society, vol. 50(2), pages 28-36, December.
    6. Per G. Fredriksson & Jim R. Wollscheid, 2014. "Political Institutions, Political Careers and Environmental Policy," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(1), pages 54-73, February.
    7. Jäger, Kai, 2016. "The Role of Regime Type in the Political Economy of Foreign Reserve Accumulation," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 79-96.
    8. repec:kap:copoec:v:28:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10602-017-9238-x is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Mundaca, Gabriela, 2017. "Energy subsidies, public investment and endogenous growth," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 693-709.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Credible commitment; collective action; service delivery; political parties; economic development;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General

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