IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Democracy’s Achilles Heel or, How to Win an Election without Really Trying

  • Paul Collier
  • Anke Hoeffler
Registered author(s):

    In this paper we investigate the efficacy of illicit electoral tactics and the characteristics which make a society prone to such tactics. We first investigate the chances of an incumbent head of government winning an election. We find that in those elections in which illicit tactics were prevalent the chances of incumbent victory increase substantially, more than doubling the expected duration in office. Further, illicit tactics sharply reduce the importance of good economic performance for survival in office. We then investigate what makes a society prone to illicit electoral tactics. Both structural conditions and institutions matter. Societies that are small, low-income, and resource-rich have little chance of a clean election unless these conditions are offset by checks and balances such as veto points and a free press. Aid has offsetting effects, the net effect being modest. We show that these results are robust to different measures of the conduct of elections and to fixed effects. Finally, we revisit the Jones-Olken result that individual leaders matter for economic performance and find that it holds only where leaders are not disciplined by well-conducted elections.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://www.csae.ox.ac.uk/workingpapers/pdfs/2009-08text.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford in its series CSAE Working Paper Series with number 2009-08.

    as
    in new window

    Length:
    Date of creation: 2009
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2009-08
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Manor Road, Oxford, OX1 3UQ
    Phone: +44-(0)1865 271084
    Fax: +44-(0)1865 281447
    Web page: http://www.csae.ox.ac.uk/
    Email:


    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2005. "Do Leaders Matter? National Leadership and Growth Since World War II," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(3), pages 835-864, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2009-08. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Richard Payne)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.