Economics India

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Prof. Robert Bates' Recent Research on Political Reforms

Prof. Robert H. Bates of Harvard University recently made a presentation at the World Bank on the subject of political reform based on his research in Africa. (His paper on "Institutions and Development" is published in the Journal of African Economies, Vol. 15, AERC Supplement 1, pp. 10-61).

Prof. Bates notes that "in late-century Africa, domestic reformers and international community prescribed political reform as a means of securing policy reforms. They sought to put an end to single party and military government and introduced multi-party politics".

Using a principal agent framework, Prof. Bates assesses the logical validity of these efforts. And employing a game theoretic approach, he traces the impact of political reform on political stability. He employs a panel of data from both African and global samples to measure the impact of reform on the economics and politics of Africa.

The evidence suggests that "reform has measurably curtailed opportunistic use of political power, failed to influence the formulation of macro-economic policy, and increased the likelyhood of political disorder".

More on this later...


  • I am glad that the issues related to Africa are discussed for India too. My little understanding of India tells me that several states and people (tribal) in India are like several African nations where basic health and education facilities do not work and the Indian Government is helpless. This may cover half of India including several remote states where the mainstream Indians do not visit. It will be really interesting to see how this Blog draws lessons for India from the African experience in Prof. Bates paper.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:09 AM  

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