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Working Paper

When Elites Meet : Decentralization, Power-Sharing, and Public Goods Provision in Post-Conflict Sierra Leone

CHILD HEALTH DEMOCRATIC ACCOUNTABILITY ECONOMIC GROWTH LOCAL AUTHORITIES FINANCING ABUSE GOVERNMENT PERFORMANCE PUBLIC INVESTMENTS EXPECTATIONS GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATIVE FUNCTIONS INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS LOCAL GOVERNMENTS POLITICIANS COMMUNITY HEALTH GOOD GOVERNANCE TAX COLLECTION POLITICAL ECONOMY HEALTH CARE WELFARE INCENTIVES HEALTH POLICY DISCUSSIONS VARIABLES NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS SOCIAL CONTROL AUTHORITIES CORRUPTION DECISION- MAKING NATIONAL LEVEL WEALTH INDEPENDENCE OVERSIGHT PUBLIC HEALTH LOCAL TAX KNOWLEDGE DEVELOPMENT GOVERNMENT LEVEL PUBLIC POLICY STATES INFLUENCE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT COLLUSION VOTERS POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS AUTHORITY RENT LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT PUBLIC HEALTH CARE POLITICAL POWER DEMOCRACY MONOPOLY PARTY AFFILIATION COLONIALISM VIOLENCE LOCAL GOVERNMENT FISCAL INCENTIVES SERVICE PROVISION SOCIAL SYSTEMS MARRIAGE REPRESENTATIVES POLICY DECISIONS SERVICE DELIVERY GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY COUNCILS ECONOMIC RESEARCH TAXES LOCAL AUTHORITY PROGRESS HOUSEHOLD LEVEL FISCAL LOCAL TAXES PUBLIC OPINION ACCOUNTABILITY ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE PUBLIC PERCEPTIONS POLICIES DECENTRALIZATION PROCESS ELECTED OFFICIALS PUBLIC POLICIES POLICY RESEARCH WORKING PAPER VALUE WORLD POLITICS PROVISION OF EDUCATION CENTRAL GOVERNMENT AGRICULTURE DECISION-MAKING MEASUREMENT REPRESENTATION INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY CONSTITUENCIES POLICY POLITICAL ELITES CITIZENS POLITICAL PARTIES ADMINISTRATION COMPARATIVE ECONOMICS GOVERNANCE ENFORCEMENT NUMBER OF WOMEN TAXATION CONSENSUS STATE GOODS THEORY CHILDREN REGIONS LOCAL COUNCILS WAR COALITIONS ELECTORAL COMPETITION VOTING FEDERALISM DECENTRALIZATION LAW FINANCIAL SUPPORT POLICY RESEARCH CIVIL WAR LEGISLATORS LOCAL DEVELOPMENT INSURGENCY STRATEGY DECISION- MAKING AUTHORITY FAMILIES LEGITIMACY WOMEN DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS DECISION-MAKING AUTHORITY PUBLIC SERVICE GOVERNMENTS OUTCOMES PUBLIC GOOD GOVERNMENT RESPONSIBILITIES FISCAL DECENTRALIZATION HEALTH SERVICES IMPLEMENTATION DISTRICTS PRESIDENCY DEVELOPMENT POLICY COMPETITION FUTURE RESEARCH
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World Bank, Washington, DC
Africa | Sierra Leone
2015-07-17T18:48:29Z | 2015-07-17T18:48:29Z | 2015-06

Over the past decade, decentralization of fiscal and policy-making authority has become a cornerstone of development organizations’ recommendations for good governance. Yet the institutional design of multilayered government can create tensions as new elites attempt to fill governing spaces long occupied by traditional patrons. This paper uses the case of post-conflict Sierra Leone to explore the power-sharing dynamics between traditional hereditary chiefs and newly elected community councilors, and how these dynamics affect the provision of local public goods. The paper uses data on several measures of local service provision and finds that councilor/chief relationships defined by competition are associated with higher levels of public goods provision as well as greater improvements in these goods between council areas over time. Relationships defined by frequent contact in the absence of disputes as well as higher frequencies of familial ties between the two sets of actors are associated with worse local development outcomes. This evidence suggests that greater competition between elite groups is beneficial for local development, whereas collusion or cooption between old and new elites harms the provision of local public goods.

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