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dc.contributor.authorBirner, Reginaen_US
dc.contributor.authorPalaniswamy, Nethraen_US
dc.description.abstractAcknowledging that the agricultural sector can play an important role as an engine ofpro-poor growth in Sub-Saharan Africa, the purpose of this paper is to identify the factorsthat influence the ?political will? of governments to support this sector. The concept of?political resources? from the political science literature is used to guide the analysis, asit combines the insights from state-centered and society-centered approaches to explainagricultural policies. Drawing on panel data covering 14 Sub-Saharan African countriesover the period 1980-2001, we present empirical evidence showing that political factorsplay an important role in determining government?s commitment to supportingagricultural development. We use a measure of democracy that varies both acrosscountries and within countries over time. Estimates are presented for separate samples ofdemocracies and non-democracies, and for a pooled sample of all countries and yearsirrespective of the democratic status. Our results suggest that the rural poor do exerciseelectoral leverage in democracies; larger rural population shares are associated withhigher spending on agriculture in democracies but not in authoritarian regimes. We alsofind evidence consistent with the theoretical prior that larger farmers tend to be betterorganized in interest groups. Specifically, we find that the share of traditional agriculturalexports such as coffee and cocoa in the total value of exports, which may be an indicatorfor the ability of farmers? to organize themselves as interest groups, induces greaterspending on agriculture. This result holds true for both democracies and nondemocracies.en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries|aProceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2006 / Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics |x4en_US
dc.titleFinancing Agricultural Development: The Political Economy of Public Spending on Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africaen_US
dc.typeConference Paperen_US

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