Law, Politics and the Quality of Government in Africa

Politics & Policy, 44(5) pp. 916-944 (October, 2016).

29 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2016 Last revised: 15 Oct 2016

See all articles by Simplice Asongu

Simplice Asongu

African Governance and Development Institute

Jacinta Nwachukwu

Coventry University

Date Written: March 25, 2016


This paper examines interconnections between law, politics and the quality of government in Africa. We investigate whether African democracies enjoy relatively better government quality compared to their counterparts with more autocratic inclinations. The empirical evidence is based on Instrumental variable Two-Stage-Least Squares and Fixed Effects with data from 38 African countries for the period 1994-2010. Political regimes of democracy, polity and autocracy are instrumented with income-levels, legal-origins, religious-dominations and press-freedom to account for government quality dynamics, of corruption-control, government-effectiveness, voice and accountability, political-stability, regulation quality and the rule of law. Findings show that democracy has an edge over autocracy while the latter and polity overlap. As a policy implication, democracy once initiated should be accelerated to edge the appeals of authoritarian regimes.

Keywords: Law; Politics; Democracy; Government Policy; Development

JEL Classification: K00; O10; P16; P43; P50

Suggested Citation

Asongu, Simplice and Nwachukwu, Jacinta, Law, Politics and the Quality of Government in Africa (March 25, 2016). Politics & Policy, 44(5) pp. 916-944 (October, 2016).. Available at SSRN: or

Simplice Asongu (Contact Author)

African Governance and Development Institute ( email )

P.O. Box 8413
Yaoundé, 8413

Jacinta Nwachukwu

Coventry University ( email )

Priory Street
Coventry, CV1 5FB
United Kingdom

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