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The Role Of Local Officials In New Democracies: Evidence From Indonesia

New democracies experience greater electoral fraud and more clientelistic spending than established democracies. This paper shows that the body of appointed local officials that a new democracy inherits from the previous regime is a key determinant of the extent of these practices. With a unique dataset from the first post-Soeharto election in Indonesia, I show that the alignment of electoral results between village and district levels is considerably stronger for villages with appointed village heads than for those with elected village heads. I present a model that provides an intuitive interpretation of these results: Appointed officials have stronger incentives to influence voters because of their political career concerns.

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Paper provided by CEMFI in its series Working Papers with number wp2013_1302.

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Date of creation: Jan 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cmf:wpaper:wp2013_1302
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