We examine the relationship between road quality and regional favouritism in Sub-Saharan Africa. Roads are an important public good in Africa, not only because of their positive impact on economic development but also because they are a major focus of central government spending. Using data from up to twelve countries from rounds 3 through 6 of the Afrobarometer on the existence of paved roads and regional, round, and country/round fixed effects, we find a negative effect of having a co-regional president, such that co-regional presidents provide poorer quality roads to their home areas than to other parts of the country. This result exists at both the highest (provincial) and second-highest (district) level of local government, and is robust to a variety of controls and sub-samples. We examine qualitative evidence from three countries which suggests that Presidents channel regional favouritism towards their co-ethnic/co-regional elite at the expense of the non-elite.
roads infrastructure Africa regional favouritism Afrobarometer regime transitions