Do Elections Matter for Economic Performance
In mature democracies, elections discipline leaders to deliver good economic performance.� Since the fall of the Soviet Union most developing countries also hold elections, but these are often marred by illicit tactics.� Using a new global data set, this paper investigates whether these illicit tactics are merely blemishes or substantially undermine the economic efficacy of elections.� We show that illicit tactics are widespread, and that they reduce the incentive for governments to deliver good economic performance.� Revisiting the celebrated result that 'leaders matter', we show that it is dependent upon the absence of clean elections: changes of leader matter a lot in systems without clean elections, whereas in those with clean elections they are not significant.
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