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The Value of Democracy: Evidence from Road Building in Kenya

Author

Listed:
  • Robin Burgess
  • Remi Jedwab
  • Edward Miguel
  • Ameet Morjaria
  • Gerard Padro i Miquel

Abstract

Ethnic favoritism is seen as antithetical to development. This paper provides credible quantifi…cation of the extent of ethnic favoritism using data on road building in Kenyan districts across the 1963-2011 period. Guided by a model it then examines whether the transition in and out of democracy under the same president constrains or exacerbates ethnic favoritism. Across the 1963 to 2011 period, we fi…nd strong evidence of ethnic favoritism: districts that share the ethnicity of the president receive twice as much expenditure on roads and have four times the length of paved roads built. This favoritism disappears during periods of democracy.

Suggested Citation

  • Robin Burgess & Remi Jedwab & Edward Miguel & Ameet Morjaria & Gerard Padro i Miquel, 2013. "The Value of Democracy: Evidence from Road Building in Kenya," STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series 045, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:stieop:045
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • L92 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Railroads and Other Surface Transportation
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa
    • R48 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government Pricing and Policy

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