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Cabinet size and governance in Sub-Saharan Africa

Wehner, Joachim ORCID: 0000-0002-1951-308X and Mills, Linnea (2022) Cabinet size and governance in Sub-Saharan Africa. Governance, 35 (1). 123 - 141. ISSN 0952-1895

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Identification Number: 10.1111/gove.12575


There is frequent public and media concern over the cost of bloated cabinets in many Sub-Saharan African countries. Scholarship on elite clientelism links cabinet positions with corruption and practices that undermine sound policymaking. This article presents new data on the number of ministers in African governments and documents a robust negative association with several measures of governance, both across countries and in a regression framework that exploits within-country variation over time and accounts for various potential confounders. This suggests policymakers, donors, investors, and citizens should pay close attention to the number of ministers appointed to the cabinet. Although the article cautions against simplistic policy prescriptions, a sizable increase in the number of ministers is likely bad news for governance.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: Government
Subjects: J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2021 15:27
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2024 00:06

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