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Clientelism and ethnic division

Report
Authors Ann-Sofie Isaksson
Arne Bigsten
ISSN 1403-2465
Publisher University of Gothenburg
Place of publication Göteborg
Publication year 2014
Published at Department of Economics
Language en
Links hdl.handle.net/2077/36057
Keywords clientelism, vote buying, ethnic divisions, Africa
Subject categories Economics

Abstract

Abstract: In light of the empirical evidence on clientelism and ethno-regional favouritism in African politics, the present paper examines the relationship between ethnic divisions and clientelism. Specifically, we ask whether – and what type of – ethnic divisions affect the experiences with, perceived prevalence of, and attitudes to clientelism. Empirical findings drawing on data for more than 20 000 respondents across 15 African countries challenge the dominant role of ethnic divisions for clientelist practices in Africa. Contextual measures of ethnic fragmentation and ethnic identification are found to have limited explanatory power for the concerned clientelism outcomes, and, considering possible subjects of ethno-regional favouritism, the empirical findings point more to the relevance of regional than ethnically based targeting of clientelist transfers.

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