Tanzania’s economic and political performance: A district-level test of selectorate theory

Bruce Bueno De Mesquita, Alastair Smith

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    This chapter focuses on the selectorate (those having a say in leader selection, e.g. all voters in a democracy) and the winning coalition (those voters who provide a majority). By providing private goods (individual material or financial benefits) and/or public goods (e.g. health care or higher income equality) the leader can ensure the support of the winning coalition. In this chapter, we will test a central hypothesis of: The larger the winning coalition the more public goods (rather than private goods) are provided. A district level analysis for the case of Tanzania—controlling for poverty levels, productivity, population, etc.—confirms that larger winning coalitions coalition favour public goods, whereas smaller winning coalitions coalition count on private goods provision. This finding might explain some of the obstacles for improved living conditions in Tanzania.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationPolitics in South Asia
    Subtitle of host publicationCulture, Rationality and Conceptual Flow
    PublisherSpringer International Publishing
    Number of pages18
    ISBN (Electronic)9783319090870
    ISBN (Print)9783319090863
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Social Sciences
    • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
    • General Business, Management and Accounting


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