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The Value of Democracy: Evidence from Road Building in Kenya

Robin Burgess (), Remi Jedwab (), Edward Miguel (), Ameet Morjaria and Gerard Padró i Miquel

American Economic Review, 2015, vol. 105, issue 6, 1817-51

Abstract: Ethnic favoritism is seen as antithetical to development. This paper provides credible quantification of the extent of ethnic favoritism using data on road building in Kenyan districts across the 1963-2011 period. Guided by a model, it then examines whether the transition in and out of democracy under the same president constrains or exacerbates ethnic favoritism. Across the post-independence period, we find strong evidence of ethnic favoritism: districts that share the ethnicity of the president receive twice as much expenditure on roads and have five times the length of paved roads built. This favoritism disappears during periods of democracy. (JEL D72, H54, J15, O15, O17, O22, R42)

JEL-codes: D72 H54 J15 O15 O17 O22 R42 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20131031
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Working Paper: The value of democracy: evidence from road building in Kenya (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: The Value of Democracy: Evidence from Road Building in Kenya (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: The Value of Democracy: Evidence from Road Building in Kenya (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: The Value of Democracy: Evidence from Road Building in Kenya (2013) Downloads
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