Seminário NOVAFRICA: Etnofederalismo e Voto Étnico

Na quarta-feira, 22 de maio, pelas 15h30 (hora de Lisboa), na sala D 011 do campus de Carcavelos da Nova SBE, o Centro NOVAFRICA recebe Roland Hodler da Universidade de St. Gallen para apresentar o seu trabalho sobre “Etnofederalismo e voto étnico”

In many diverse developing countries, ethnic identities are highly salient and their role in national politics stands in the way of nation-building. In this paper, we examine whether and how reforming subnational political borders can reduce the salience of ethnicity in national politics. To do so, we introduce novel measures that capture the extent to which political boundaries are ethnofederal or cross-cutting from the perspective of individuals living in a particular place and identifying with a particular group. We then take advantage of the 2010 constitutional reform in Kenya, which divided the country’s eight provinces into 47 counties and devolved power to these new counties. Using event study and difference-in-difference designs, we find that ethnofederal reforms reduce ethnic voting in national elections. A key channel is that ethnofederalism “tranquilizes” locally powerful groups that control the provision of local public goods. Finally, we use our estimates to determine the optimal political borders that would reduce ethnic voting the most in Kenya.

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