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Clientelism and ethnic divisions

  • Isaksson, Ann-Sofie

    ()

    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

  • Bigsten, Arne

    ()

    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

In light of the empirical evidence on clientelism and ethno-regional favouritism in African politics, the present paper examines the relationship between ethnic divisions and clientelism. Specifically, we ask whether – and what type of – ethnic divisions affect the experiences with, perceived prevalence of, and attitudes to clientelism. Empirical findings drawing on data for more than 20 000 respondents across 15 African countries challenge the dominant role of ethnic divisions for clientelist practices in Africa. Contextual measures of ethnic fragmentation and ethnic identification are found to have limited explanatory power for the concerned clientelism outcomes, and, considering possible subjects of ethno-regional favouritism, the empirical findings point more to the relevance of regional than ethnically based targeting of clientelist transfers.

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Paper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 598.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0598
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Web page: http://www.handels.gu.se/econ/

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