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Title: Essays on the political economy of development : the role of democracy and institutions
Author: Kleine-Rueschkamp, Lukas
ISNI:       0000 0004 7654 5090
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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Political institutions shape the structure and incentive systems of economies and are therefore essential for development. This thesis consists of three chapters that analyse and empirically study questions of different topics on the political economy of economic development, focussing on accountability, political capture, and democracy more generally. Chapter 1 analyses the effects of increases in the salience of electoral accountability on selection into politics in a context where accountability mechanisms are prone to political capture. The analysis examines recall referenda in Peruvian municipalities and demonstrates that candidates in municipalities where a recall election took place are on average less educated and less experienced. Furthermore, elected mayors in those municipalities exhibit less effort in office. The findings can be explained by political capture of recall referenda, which discourages high-quality individuals from competing for office and also reduces incentives for incumbents in office. Chapter 2 explores strategic behaviour of non-state actors during a prolonged transition period. The chapter provides evidence that non-state actors in Colombia strategically exploit the period between peace negotiations and demobilisation to expropriate land in order to consolidate their future economic and political power. Weak state capacity, relatively far-reaching impunity, and the multi-year length of the transition period allow non-state actors to influence the transition process in their interest and to pursue personal gain. In Chapter 3, I empirically examine the relationship between democracy, government size, and redistribution in a global country panel. Using within-country time series variation in dynamic panel model regressions and instrumental variable estimation, I find that democratisation is associated with significant increases in redistribution but not with higher government expenditure or taxation per se. The effects are considerable in the long run, leading to an increase in redistributive taxes and expenditure of up to 20%. Democratisation's impact is, however, heterogeneous. I explore and discuss a number of dimensions along which the effects on redistribution vary.
Supervisor: Bond, Stephen ; Hoeffler, Anke Sponsor: Marie Curie Individual Researcher Grant
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available