Healing the Wounds: Learning from Sierra Leone's Post-war Institutional Reforms
While its recent history of civil war, chronic poverty and corrupt governance would cause many to dismiss Sierra Leone as a hopeless case, the country's economic and political performance over the last decade has defied expectations. We examine how several factors--including the legacy of war, ethnic diversity, decentralization and community-driven development (CDD)--have shaped local institutions and national political dynamics. The story that emerges is a nuanced one: war does not necessarily destroy the capacity for local collective action; ethnicity affects residential choice, but does not impede local public goods provision; while politics remain heavily ethnic, voters are willing to cross ethnic boundaries when they have better information about candidates; decentralization can work even where capacity is limited, although the results are mixed; and for all of its promise, CDD does not appear to transform local institutions nor social norms. All of these findings are somewhat "unexpected," but they are quite positive in signaling that even one of the world's poorest, most violent and ethnically diverse societies can overcome major challenges and progress towards meaningful economic and political development.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2012|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||Forthcoming: Healing the Wounds: Learning from Sierra Leone's Post-war Institutional Reforms , Katherine Casey, Rachel Glennerster, Edward Miguel. in African Successes: Government and Institutions, Volume 1 , Edwards, Johnson, and Weil. 2015|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.nber.org
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.:
- Habyarimana, James P. & Humphreys, Macartan & Posner, Daniel N. & Weinstein, Jeremy, 2006. "Why Does Ethnic Diversity Undermine Public Goods Provision? An Experimental Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 2272, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Valentino Larcinese & James M. Snyder (Jr.) & Cecilia Testa, 2006.
"Testing models of distributive politics using exit polls to measure voter preferences and partisanship,"
LSE Research Online Documents on Economics
3605, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Valentino Larcinese & James M. Snyder, Jr. & Cecilia Testa, 2006. "Testing Models Of Distributive Politicsusing Exit Polls To Measure Voterpreferences And Partisanship," STICERD - Political Economy and Public Policy Paper Series 19, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
- Valentino Larcinese & James M. Snyder & Cecilia Testa, 2009. "Testing Models of Distributive Politics using Exit Polls to Measure Voters Preferences and Partisanship," Development Working Papers 278, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
- Bellows, John & Miguel, Edward, 2009. "War and local collective action in Sierra Leone," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(11-12), pages 1144-1157, December.
- Abhijit Banerjee & Lakshmi Iyer, 2005.
"History, Institutions, and Economic Performance: The Legacy of Colonial Land Tenure Systems in India,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1190-1213, September.
- Abhijit Banerjee & Lakshmi Iyer, 2010. "History Institutions and Economic Performance: The Legacy of Colonial Land Tenure Systems in India," Working Papers id:2811, eSocialSciences.
- Pranab Bardhan & Dilip Mookherjee, 2006. "Decentralisation and Accountability in Infrastructure Delivery in Developing Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(508), pages 101-127, 01.
- Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996.
"Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions,"
536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
- Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-50, November.
- Assar Lindbeck & Jörgen Weibull, 1987. "Balanced-budget redistribution as the outcome of political competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 273-297, January.
- Fearon, James D, 2003. " Ethnic and Cultural Diversity by Country," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 195-222, June.
- Miguel, Edward & Gugerty, Mary Kay, 2005. "Ethnic diversity, social sanctions, and public goods in Kenya," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2325-2368, December.
- Edward Miguel, 2009. "Africa's Turn?," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262012898, June.
- Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
- Edward Miguel & Rachel Glennerster & Alexander Rothenberg, 2010.
"Collective Action in Diverse Sierra Leone Communities,"
- Rachel Glennerster & Edward Miguel & Alexander Rothenberg, 2010. "Collective Action in Diverse Sierra Leone Communities," NBER Working Papers 16196, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18368. 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: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.