More elections, more burden? On the relationship between elections and public debt in Africa

Author: Nimonka Bayale, Abdou-Fataou Tchagnao and Hopestone Kayiska Chavula

Article history:
Received: 15th January, 2020
Accepted: 12th June, 2020
Handling editor: Muazu Ibrahim (PhD)


The political determinants of public indebtedness in developing countries is still generating a lot of interest among academics and policy makers. This paper investigates whether elections influence the public debt dynamics relying on data from 51 African countries spanning 1990 to 2015. The analyses are conducted using the fixed effects and the system Generalized Method of Moments (GMM). The results reveal that although all types of elections increase public debt, only the impact of the presidential elections are significant. The findings are robust irrespective of the estimation technique. The paper recommends African countries to rationalize public resources, particularly in the election years.

Public debt; Elections; Africa; Fixed effects; System GMM

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