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