The value of democracy: Evidence from road building in Kenya

Robin Burgess, Remi Jedwab, Edward Miguel, Ameet Morjaria, Gerard Padró I Miquel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

146 Scopus citations

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 post-independence 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 five times the length of paved roads built. This favoritism disappears during periods of democracy. (JEL D72, H54, J15, O15, O17, O22, R42).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1817-1851
Number of pages35
JournalAmerican Economic Review
Volume105
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The value of democracy: Evidence from road building in Kenya'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this