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Ethnic Identities, Public Spending and Political Regimes

Sugata Ghosh and Anirban Mitra ()
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Sugata Ghosh: Brunel University

Economics Working Paper from Condorcet Center for political Economy at CREM-CNRS from Condorcet Center for political Economy

Abstract: Do democracies discriminate less against minorities as compared to non-democracies? How does the dominance of an ethnic group a ect discrimination under various political regimes? We build a theory which tries to answer such questions. In our model, political leaders (democratically elected or not) decide on the allocation of spending on di erent types of public goods: a general public good and an ethnically-targetable public good which benefits the majority ethnic group while imposing a cost on the other minorities. We show that, under democracy, lower ethnic dominance leads to greater provision of the general public good while higher dominance implies higher provision of the ethnically-targetable good. Interestingly, the opposite relation obtains under dictatorship. This implies that political regime changes can favour or disfavour minorities based on the ambient level of ethnic dominance. Several historical events involving regime changes can be analysed within our framework and are consistent with our results.

Keywords: Ethnic identities; Discrimination; Public spending; Political regimes. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 D74 H40 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019-05
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-mic and nep-pol
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:tut:cccrwp:2019-09-ccr

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