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Ethnic Diversity, Social Norms and Elite Capture: Theory and Evidence from Indonesia

Mitra, Anirban, Pal, Sarmistha (2022) Ethnic Diversity, Social Norms and Elite Capture: Theory and Evidence from Indonesia. Economica, . ISSN 0013-0427. (KAR id:93525)

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Elite capture is a natural concern regarding decentralisation. We highlight the effects of ethnic diversity and social norms on the extent of such capture. Ethnic diversity, through differences in the preference for public goods, facilitates capture. However, this may be counteracted by social norms which promote cooperative behaviour within communities. We test these theoretical predictions using community-level data from the 1997 and 2007 Indonesian

Family Life Survey (IFLS) rounds with fiscal decentralisation being implemented in between. We exploit a particular institutional feature of Indonesian communities | namely, the observance of traditional "Adat" laws to proxy coordination across ethnic groups. Overall, we find that ethnic diversity depresses community-level development spending after decentralisation, particularly where Adat laws (which promote an ethic of mutual co-operation) are not followed. The opposite is observed for spending on non-developmental items.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: Decentralisation, Ethnic diversity, Lobbying, Local development, Political Economy.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Economics
Depositing User: Anirban Mitra
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2022 12:17 UTC
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2022 17:15 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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