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Whitfield, Lindsay
Therkildsen, Ole
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
DIIS Working Paper 2011:15
We know a lot about what kinds of policies are needed to support the development of productive sectors, but much less about why governments pursue these policies and why some governments achieve better outcomes than others. The paper reviews the many but disparate arguments on the comparative political economy of development and presents a conceptual approach that builds on the most convincing insights to date. This provides a framework for analyzing why and how ruling political elites support productive sector development and with what outcomes, and for comparing outcomes across productive sectors within and among countries, regions and continents. The approach builds on three propositions: political survival is the key motivation for ruling elites, and the need to maintain ruling coalitions and winning elections shapes the kinds of policies that political elites choose and how they are implemented, in particular whether ruling elites share a mutual interest with relevant productive entrepreneurs and whether ruling elites are able to create 'pockets of efficiency' in the bureaucracy in charge of implementing the policies.
Document Type: 
Working Paper
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