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Ethnic Diversity, Public Spending and Political Regimes

Author

Listed:
  • Ghosh, Sugata
  • Mitra, Anirban

Abstract

We study the relationship between ethnic diversity and public spending under two different political regimes, namely, democracy and dictatorship. We build a theory where political leaders (democratically elected or not) decide on the allocation of spending on different types of public goods: a general public good and an ethnically-targetable public good. We show that the relationship between public spending and ethnic diversity is qualitatively different under the two regimes. In particular, higher ethnic diversity leads to greater investment in general rather than group-specific public goods under democracy; the opposite relation obtains under dictatorship. We also discuss some implications of our results for economic performance and citizen's welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Ghosh, Sugata & Mitra, Anirban, 2016. "Ethnic Diversity, Public Spending and Political Regimes," MPRA Paper 75546, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:75546
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/75546/1/MPRA_paper_75546.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Ethnic diversity; Public goods; Democracy; Dictatorship; Economic performance.;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General

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