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Democracy and education spending: has Africa's move to multiparty elections made a difference to policy?

Stasavage, David (2003) Democracy and education spending: has Africa's move to multiparty elections made a difference to policy? DEDPS (37). Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, London, UK.

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While it is generally recognized that electoral competition can have a major influence on public spending decisions, there has been little effort to consider whether the move to multiparty elections in African countries in recent years has led to a redistribution of public expenditures between social groups. In this paper I develop a hypothesis, illustrated with a simple game-theoretic model, which suggests that the need to obtain an electoral majority may have prompted African governments to devote greater resources to primary schools. I test this proposition using panel data on electoral competition and education spending in thirty-five African countries over the period 1981-1996. The results show that democratization has indeed been associated with greater spending on primary schools, and these findings are robust to controls for unobserved country effects. They are also supported by evidence from recent country cases. Though the reemergence of multiparty democracy in Africa has not led to a wholesale transformation of economic policies, these findings nonetheless suggest that it may be having a significant impact in individual policy areas.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2003 David Stasavage
Divisions: STICERD
International Relations
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
L Education > L Education (General)
JEL classification: I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I2 - Education > I28 - Government Policy
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O11 - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
H - Public Economics > H5 - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies > H52 - Government Expenditures and Education
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2008 18:12
Last Modified: 02 Jan 2021 00:30

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