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Politics and the geographic allocation of public funds in a semi-democracy: The case of Ghana, 1996-2004

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  • André, Pierre
  • Mesplé-Somps, Sandrine

Abstract

The body of literature on purely democratic countries can sometimes fail to explain the behavior of government in semi-democratic African countries. Empirical and theoretical political economic papers and that public funds target ruling party supporters and swing districts. Our results, however, suggest that the opposite was true of Ghana. We observe that pro-government districts received less public investment when the NDC was in power. We posit that this nding is partially driven by the government's will to curry favor with opposition politicians. Indeed, in addition to pursuing its electoral objectives, the government of an emerging democracy may fear political instability and keep the lid on potential unrest by bargaining with opposition leaders. Our analysis also shows that, when controlling for votes and other covariates (including wealth, urbanization and density), public goods allocation is not driven by ethnic group targeting either.

Suggested Citation

  • André, Pierre & Mesplé-Somps, Sandrine, 2011. "Politics and the geographic allocation of public funds in a semi-democracy: The case of Ghana, 1996-2004," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 6, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:gdec11:6
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    Cited by:

    1. Abdul-Gafaru Abdulai & Sam Hickey, 2014. "Rethinking the politics of development in Africa? How the 'political settlement' shapes resource allocation in Ghana," Global Development Institute Working Paper Series esid-038-14, GDI, The University of Manchester.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public goods; Elections; Politics; Ghana;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa
    • R53 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Public Facility Location Analysis; Public Investment and Capital Stock

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