One for the Road: Voting for public goods in Ghana

Type Working Paper
Title One for the Road: Voting for public goods in Ghana
Author(s)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2011
Page numbers 0-0
URL https://files.nyu.edu/rfh227/public/Harding_RoadsAndVotes.pdf
Abstract
Do voters in Africa respond to the provision of public goods? This is not intuitive; studies of voting behavior in Africa have focused almost exclusively on issues of clientelism and ethnicity, largely ignoring the possibility that voters might use elections to hold politicians accountable for public goods. To investigate this question I evaluate the relationship between elections and public goods in Ghana. Drawing on insights about the role of information for accountability, I argue that citizens can only condition their votes on goods that can be attributed to political action. In Ghana roads are one such attributable good. Therefore I construct an original panel dataset that combines polling station electoral returns with precise, localized information on changes to road conditions throughout Ghana. This dataset allows for the

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