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Clientelism and ethnic divisions

Author

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  • 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)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Isaksson, Ann-Sofie & Bigsten, Arne, 2014. "Clientelism and ethnic divisions," Working Papers in Economics 598, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0598
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    File URL: https://gupea.ub.gu.se/handle/2077/36057
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Clientelism; vote buying; ethnic divisions; Africa;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

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