The Value of Democracy: Evidence from Road Building in Kenya

43 Pages Posted: 3 Sep 2013

See all articles by Robin Burgess

Robin Burgess

London School of Economics (LSE) - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Remi Jedwab

George Washington University

Edward Miguel

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Ameet Morjaria

Northwestern University - Department of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences (MEDS)

Gerard Padró i Miquel

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 2013

Abstract

Ethnic favoritism is seen as antithetical to development. This paper provides credible quantification of the extent of ethnic favoritism using data on road building in Kenyan districts across the 1963-2011 period. Guided by a model it then examines whether the transition in and out of democracy under the same president constrains or exacerbates ethnic favoritism. Across the 1963 to 2011 period, we find strong evidence of ethnic favoritism: districts that share the ethnicity of the president receive twice as much expenditure on roads and have four times the length of paved roads built. This favoritism disappears during periods of democracy.

JEL Classification: D72, L92, O55, R48

Suggested Citation

Burgess, Robin and Jedwab, Remi and Miguel, Edward and Morjaria, Ameet and Padro i Miquel, Gerard, The Value of Democracy: Evidence from Road Building in Kenya (September 2013). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP9627. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2319975

Robin Burgess (Contact Author)

London School of Economics (LSE) - Department of Economics ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://econ.lse.ac.uk/staff/rburgess/index_own.html

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Remi Jedwab

George Washington University ( email )

Edward Miguel

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics ( email )

549 Evans Hall #3880
Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Ameet Morjaria

Northwestern University - Department of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences (MEDS) ( email )

2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

Gerard Padro i Miquel

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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