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Electoral Competition and Public Spending on Education: Evidence from African Countries

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  • David Stasavage

    (London School of Economics)

Abstract

Electoral competition can have a significant influence on government decisions regarding public spending. In this paper I examine whether the move to multiparty elections in many African countries in the last ten years has been associated with a clear change in priorities for public spending on education. In particular, I argue that the need to obtain an electoral majority may have prompted governments to devote greater resources to primary schools. I test this hypothesis using panel data on electoral competition and education spending in thirty-five African countries over the period 1980-1999. The results strongly support the hypothesis and are robust to controls for both unobserved country effects and other determinants of spending.

Suggested Citation

  • David Stasavage, 2004. "Electoral Competition and Public Spending on Education: Evidence from African Countries," Public Economics 0409006, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:0409006
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 26
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bates, R-H, 1995. "Democratic Transition in Africa : A First Report on an Empirical Project," Papers 514, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
    2. Devarajan, Shantayanan & Rajkumar, Andrew Sunil & Swaroop, Vinaya, 1999. "What does aid to Africa finance?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2092, The World Bank.
    3. Ian Lienert & Jitendra R. Modi, 1997. "A Decade of Civil Service Reform in Sub-Saharan Africa," IMF Working Papers 97/179, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Behrman, Jere R. & Rosenzweig, Mark R., 1994. "Caveat emptor: Cross-country data on education and the labor force," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 147-171, June.
    5. World Bank, 2001. "A Chance to Learn : Knowledge and Finance for Education in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13855.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • H - Public Economics

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