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Sitting on the fence: Pork - barrels and democratization under threat of conflict. The case of Ghana, 1996 - 2004

  • Mesplé-Somps, Sandrine
  • André, Pierre

This paper studies political competition in the case of a democratization process. We present an illustrative model describing political competition when the opposition threatens the stability of the country. In some cases, our model predicts the government should invest in opposition districts to avoid political agitation. This contrasts with existing literature on established democracies, where public funds usually target ruling, party supporters or electorally tight districts. We empirically observe the first democratic changeover in Ghana in 2000. Implement- ing a diff-in-diff strategy, we find that districts with a leading political party member appear to receive slightly more public funds when their party is not in charge. This phenomenon is found in urban areas and in areas that vote the most for this leading member’s party. Hence it occurs in places with the potential for political agitation.

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Paper provided by Paris Dauphine University in its series Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine with number 123456789/12022.

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Date of creation: Apr 2013
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Publication status: Published in Thema Working Paper, 2013
Handle: RePEc:dau:papers:123456789/12022
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  1. Marcelin Joanis, 2011. "The road to power: partisan loyalty and the centralized provision of local infrastructure," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 146(1), pages 117-143, January.
  2. Matthew Ellman & Leonard Wantchekon, 2000. "Electoral Competition Under The Threat Of Political Unrest," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 499-531, May.
  3. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
  4. Steven D. Levitt & James M. Snyder, Jr., 1995. "The Impact of Federal Spending on House Election Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 5002, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Banful, Afua Branoah, 2011. "Do formula-based intergovernmental transfer mechanisms eliminate politically motivated targeting? Evidence from Ghana," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 380-390, November.
  6. Jean-Paul Azam, 2006. "The Paradox of Power Reconsidered: A Theory of Political Regimes in Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 15(1), pages 26-58, March.
  7. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521855266 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Dahlberg, Matz & Johansson, Eva, 1999. "On the Vote Purchasing Behavior of Incumbent Governments," Working Paper Series 1999:24, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  9. Mogues, Tewodaj & Benin, Samuel, 2012. "Do External Grants to District Governments Discourage Own Revenue Generation? A Look at Local Public Finance Dynamics in Ghana," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 1054-1067.
  10. Case, A, 1996. "Election Goals and Income Redistribution : Recent Evidence from Albania," Papers 177, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  11. Paul Collier & Pedro Vicente, 2012. "Violence, bribery, and fraud: the political economy of elections in Sub-Saharan Africa," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 153(1), pages 117-147, October.
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