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Democracy increases education spending in Africa

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The shift to multiparty elections in African countries has resulted in increased spending on primary education shows study by Dr David Stasavage|, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). 

The study, published in the recent issue of the American Journal of Political Science, addresses the question of whether or not democracies behave differently from their authoritarian counterparts when it comes to public services. 

Author David Stasavage's focus on education in Africa led to a clear preliminary evidence that democratically elected African governments have spent more on primary education. A government subject to multiparty competition is estimated to devote 4.4 per cent more of its total expenditures to education than would otherwise be the case, he states. Funding for universities appears unaffected, despite university students being at the forefront of African pro-democracy movements during the early 1990s. 

Dr Stasavage covered the education spending of 44 African countries from 1980-96 using data compiled by UNESCO. He concludes that while the move to democracy has not triggered a wholesale turnaround in economic policies, the evidence does show that multiparty electoral competition has been associated with greater government spending on education, and on primary education in particular. 

David Stasavage is senior lecturer in international relations at LSE. More information on his research in political economy issues can be found online in his entry in LSE's Experts directory|

This study is published in the latest issue of the American Journal of Political Science.

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EurekAlert.com
Democracy increases education spending in Africa (8 March 05)
A study publishing in the recent issue of the American Journal of Political Science addresses the question of whether or not democracies behave differently from their authoritarian counterparts when it comes to public services. LSE author David Stasavage's focus on education in Africa led to clear preliminary evidence that democratically elected African governments have spent more on primary education. 

4 March 2005

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