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Democratization and clientelism: why are young democracies badly governed?

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  • Keefer, Philip

Abstract

This paper identifies systematic performance differences between younger and older democracies: younger democracies are more corrupt; exhibit less rule of law, lower levels of bureaucratic quality, and lower secondary school enrollments; and spend more on public investment and government workers. Only one theory explains the effects of democratic age on the wide range of policy outcomes examined here-the inability of political competitors in younger democracies to make credible promises to citizens. This explanation, first advanced in Keefer and Vlaicu (2004), offers a concrete interpretation of what political institutionalization might mean, and why it is that young democracies frequently fail to become older and well-performing democracies. A variety of tests support this explanation against alternatives. The effect of democratic age remains large even after controlling for the possibilities that voters are less well-informed in young democracies, that young democracies have systematically different political and electoral institutions, or that young democracies exhibit more polarized societies.

Suggested Citation

  • Keefer, Philip, 2005. "Democratization and clientelism: why are young democracies badly governed?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3594, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3594
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2002. "Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1231-1294.
    2. Engerman, Stanley L. & Sokoloff, Kenneth L., 2005. "The Evolution of Suffrage Institutions in the New World," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(04), pages 891-921, December.
    3. Dixit, Avinash K & Londregan, John, 1994. "The Determinants of Success of Special Interests in Redistributive Politics," CEPR Discussion Papers 1054, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Carlson, Beverley A., 2000. "Achieving educational quality: what schools teach us: learning from Chile's P900 primary schools," Desarrollo Productivo 64, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    5. Antoine Bommier & Sylvie Lambert, 2000. "Education Demand and Age at School Enrollment in Tanzania," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(1), pages 177-203.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Tavares, Samia Costa, 2007. "Do rapid political and trade liberalizations increase corruption?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 1053-1076, December.
    2. Ethan Kapstein & Nathan Converse, 2006. "The Economics of Young Democracies: Policies and Performance," Working Papers 85, Center for Global Development.
    3. Dimitris K Christopoulos & Gregorios Siourounis & Irene Vlachaki, 2016. "Democratic Reforms, Foreign Aid and Production Inefficiency," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 84(3), pages 363-389, June.
    4. Keefer, Philip & Vlaicu, Razvan, 2005. "Democracy, credibility and clientelism," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3472, The World Bank.
    5. Sue, Eddie D.W. & Wong, Wei-Kang, 2010. "The political economy of housing prices: Hedonic pricing with regression discontinuity," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 133-144, June.
    6. Robert Elgie & Iain McMenamin, 2008. "Political fragmentation, fiscal deficits and political institutionalisation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 136(3), pages 255-267, September.
    7. Brian Levy, 2007. "Governance Reform : Bridging Monitoring and Action," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6742, June.
    8. Aisling Lyon, 2014. "Challenges to Municipal Fiscal Autonomy in Macedonia," Publius: The Journal of Federalism, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(4), pages 633-658.
    9. Kapstein, Ethan & Converse, Nathan, 2006. "The Economics of Young Democracies: Policies and Performance," MPRA Paper 553, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    National Governance; Parliamentary Government; Politics and Government; Environmental Economics&Policies; Economic Theory&Research;

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