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Resource Rents, Democracy and Corruption: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Rabah Arezki
  • Thorvaldur Gylfason

We examine the effect of the interaction between resource rents and democracy on corruption for a panel of 29 Sub-Saharan countries during the period from 1985 to 2007. We find that higher resource rents lead to more corruption and that the effect is significantly stronger in less democratic countries. Surprisingly, we also find that higher resource rents lead to fewer internal conflicts and that less democratic countries face not a higher but a lower likelihood of conflicts following an increase in resource rents. We argue that these findings can be explained by the ability of the political elites in less democratic countries to more effectively quell the masses through redistribution of rents to the public. We support our argument by documenting that higher resource rents lead to more (less) government spending in less (more) democratic countries. Our findings suggest that the mechanisms through which resource rents affect corruption cannot be separated from political systems.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2011/wp-cesifo-2011-09/cesifo1_wp3575.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3575.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3575
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  1. R Blundell & Steven Bond, . "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data model," Economics Papers W14&104., Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  2. Wacziarg, Romain & Alesina, Alberto & Devleeschauwer, Arnaud & Easterly, William & Kurlat, Sergio, 2002. "Fractionalization," Research Papers 1744, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  3. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
  4. Rabah Arezki & Markus Bruckner, 2011. "Oil Rents, Corruption, and State Stability: Evidence from Panel Data Regressions," School of Economics Working Papers 2011-07, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
  5. Hamilton, Kirk & Clemens, Michael, 1999. "Genuine Savings Rates in Developing Countries," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 13(2), pages 333-56, May.
  6. Bhattacharyya, Sambit & Hodler, Roland, 2010. "Natural resources, democracy and corruption," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 608-621, May.
  7. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2004. "Greed and grievance in civil war," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 563-595, October.
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