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Votes and Regional Economic Growth: Evidence from Turkey

Davide Luca

World Development, 2016, vol. 78, issue C, 477-495

Abstract: In countries where governments’ disproportionate power over the bureaucracy is coupled with a strong political polarization, can votes for the national incumbent party “buy” preferential policy treatment and faster regional economic growth? The article tests such question on Turkey’s 81 provinces over 2004–12. Results uncover a link between votes and faster regional growth, as well as a small influence of preferential allocations in explaining it. Yet, after addressing potential endogeneity, economic performance is almost entirely explained by standard drivers, primarily human capital endowment. Results suggest that the impact of electorally motivated distributive politics on regions’ economic performance is extremely limited.

Keywords: distributive politics; votes; political cleavages; regional economic growth; Middle-East; Turkey (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2015.10.033

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