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Elections and government legitimacy in Afghanistan

Berman, Eli, Callen, Mike, Gibson, Clark C. and Long, James D. (2014) Elections and government legitimacy in Afghanistan. CEGA Working Paper Series (033). University of California, Berkeley, California.

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International development agencies invest heavily in institution building in fragile states, including expensive interventions to support democratic elections. Yet little evidence exists on whether elections enhance the domestic legitimacy of governments. Using the random assignment of an innovative election fraud-reducing intervention in Afghanistan, we find that decreasing electoral misconduct improves multiple survey measures of attitudes toward government, including: (1) whether Afghanistan is a democracy; (2) whether the police should resolve disputes; (3) whether members of parliament provide services; and (4) willingness to report insurgent behavior to security forces. Moreover, these effects are strongest within the subsample of respondents who were not aware of the fairness-enhancing treatment, leading us to conclude that legitimacy was increased by perceptions of electoral fairness and efficacy.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 The Authors
Divisions: Economics
Subjects: J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
JEL classification: H - Public Economics > H4 - Publicly Provided Goods > H41 - Public Goods
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O10 - General
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O17 - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements: Legal, Social, Economic, and Political
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O5 - Economywide Country Studies > O53 - Asia including Middle East
P - Economic Systems > P1 - Capitalist Systems > P16 - Political Economy
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2020 13:33
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 12:17

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