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Measuring government effectiveness and its consequences for social welfare in Sub-Saharan African countries

Year: 2010
Author: Sacks, Audrey
Unit: DARU
Journal: Social Forces
Volume: 88
Issue: 5
Pages: 2325-2352
Abstract:

 

We introduce a method for measuring effective government and modeling its consequences for social welfare at the individual level. Our focus is on the experiences of citizens living in African countries where famine remains a serious threat. If a government is effective, it will be able to deliver goods that individuals need to improve their social welfare. At a minimum, effective governments facilitate reliable access to food for its citizens. We assess this conception of effective government via a multi-level model from 17 sub-Saharan countries sampled in 2005 by Afrobarometer. We find that citizens who live in regions and in countries with a civil bureaucracy, reliable law enforcement and good infrastructure enjoy higher levels of food security than those who live in regions with weaker institutional penetration.


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