Cabinet Size and Governance in Sub-Saharan Africa

23 Pages Posted: 7 May 2020

See all articles by Joachim Wehner

Joachim Wehner

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Linnea Cecilia Mills

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: May 6, 2020

Abstract

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 policy making. This paper presents new data on the number of ministers in African governments and shows a negative association with several measures of governance. The associations are robust in a regression framework that exploits within-country variation over time and accounts for various potential confounders. These patterns suggest that policy makers, donors, investors, and citizens should pay close attention to the number of ministers appointed to the cabinet. Although the paper cautions against simplistic policy prescriptions, a sizable increase in the number of ministers is likely bad news for governance.

Keywords: Youth and Governance, Governance Indicators, Government Policies, National Governance, Conflict and Fragile States, Judicial System Reform, Armed Conflict, Macro-Fiscal Policy, Economic Adjustment and Lending, Public Finance Decentralization and Poverty Reduction, Public Sector Economics

Suggested Citation

Wehner, Joachim and Mills, Linnea Cecilia, Cabinet Size and Governance in Sub-Saharan Africa (May 6, 2020). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 9232, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3594939

Joachim Wehner (Contact Author)

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

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Linnea Cecilia Mills

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

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