Do programmatic policies yield electoral rewards for politicians? A growing body of research attributes political motives for the provision of public goods and services in Africa. Yet these works seldom examine the specifics of policy implementation, including how programmatic policies are financed.
This webinar is presented by Professor Ken Opalo from Georgetown University. Prof. Ken analyzes the electoral effects of a programmatic policy in Tanzania, a policy that is designed to increase access and improve learning outcomes in secondary schools over a 15-year period. Contrary to standard political economy models, the authors find a significant electoral penalty of between 1.5-4 percentage points associated with the expansion of access to secondary schools. Further analysis suggests that this is due to the fact that increased access came with an effective tax increase on Tanzanian communities and a precipitous decline in the quality of secondary education. Findings suggest the specifics of implementation condition that realizes the electoral effects of programmatic policies. This work is co-authored with James Habyarimana and Youdi Schipper.