Crossing the Line: Local Ethnic Geography and Voting in Ghana

  title={Crossing the Line: Local Ethnic Geography and Voting in Ghana},
  author={Nahomi Ichino and Noah L. Nathan},
  journal={American Political Science Review},
  pages={344 - 361}
Theories of instrumental ethnic voting in new democracies propose that voters support co-ethnic politicians because they expect politicians to favor their co-ethnics once in office. But many goods that politicians deliver to voters are locally nonexcludable in rural areas, so the local presence of an ethnic group associated with a politician should affect a rural voter's assessment of how likely she is to benefit from that politician's election. Using geocoded polling-station–level election… 
Local Ethnic Geography, Expectations of Favoritism, and Voting in Urban Ghana
African democracies are increasingly urban. While ethnicity is generally correlated with vote choice, recent research suggests there may be less ethnic voting in cities. But I show that voting for
Economic signals of ethnicity and voting in Africa: analysis of the correlation between agricultural subsectors and ethnicity in Kenya
  • Eun Kyung Kim
  • Economics, Sociology
    The Journal of Modern African Studies
  • 2020
ABSTRACT The existing literature has demonstrated that both ethnic and economic factors affect a vote decision in African democracies. I show that there is a meaningful interaction between the two
Explaining the (local) ethnic census: subnational variation in ethnic politics in Kenyan elections
  • K. Harris
  • Sociology
    The Journal of Modern African Studies
  • 2022
Abstract Why do elections in some ethnically diverse constituencies resemble an ethnic census, while in others ethnicity plays a less prominent role? Prior literature on ethnic bloc voting in Africa
Who Benefits? How Local Ethnic Demography Shapes Political Favoritism in Africa
Abstract Empirical studies show that many governments gear the provision of goods and services towards their ethnic peers. This article investigates governments’ strategies to provide ethnic favors
Ethnicity and the Swing Vote in Africa’s Emerging Democracies: Evidence from Kenya
  • J. Horowitz
  • Sociology, Political Science
    British Journal of Political Science
  • 2017
Who are Africa’s swing voters? This article argues that in settings where ethnicity is politically salient, core and swing are defined by whether ethnic groups have a co-ethnic leader in the
The Ghanaian Voter and the 2008 General Election
ABSTRACT Why do Ghanaian voters who vote for co-ethnics do so? Analysing survey and interview data drawn from segments of the voting population, the article demonstrates that the electorates vote for
Beyond Ethnic Politics in Africa
Why do ethnic politics emerge in some ethnically diverse societies but not others? Focusing on sub-Saharan Africa, Dominika Koter argues that the prevailing social structures of a country play a
Identifying and Interpreting the Sensitivity of Ethnic Voting in Africa
Many studies in the African politics literature estimate the correlation between ethnicity and vote choice using reported vote intentions from public opinion surveys. Yet, though we know questions
Surrounded and threatened: how neighborhood composition reduces ethnic voting through intimidation
Abstract Ethnic voting is an important phenomenon in the political lives of numerous countries. In the present paper, we propose a theory explaining why ethnic voting is more prevalent in certain
The discerning voter: Party–voter linkages and local distribution under multilevel governance
What shapes voters’ expectations of receiving private benefits and local public goods in developing world democracies? Models of instrumental voting suggest that voters’ expectations are shaped by


Voting intentions in Africa: ethnic, economic or partisan?
This paper offers a first comprehensive account of popular voting intentions in Africa's new electoral democracies. With reference to aggregate and survey data from 16 countries, this paper shows
Information and Ethnic Politics in Africa
Political scientists’ explanations for ethnic voting differ. Some have argued that the utility of ethnicity lies partly in the information that demographic cues provide about candidates, particularly
Separate and Suspicious: Local Social and Political Context and Ethnic Tolerance in Kenya
Does living in close proximity to members of other ethnic groups make people more or less tolerant of ethnic differences? How does the interaction between local electoral competition and ethnic
Are African Voters Really Ethnic or Clientelistic? Survey Evidence from Ghana
This article explores voting behavior in one of Africa's new democracies. Recognizing that much of the literature assumes African political behavior to be subsumed in ethnic ties and clientelism, we
Politicized Places: Explaining Where and When Immigrants Provoke Local Opposition
  • D. Hopkins
  • Sociology
    American Political Science Review
  • 2010
In ethnic and racial terms, America is growing rapidly more diverse. Yet attempts to extend racial threat hypotheses to today's immigrants have generated inconsistent results. This article develops
Tax Me If You Can: Ethnic Geography, Democracy, and the Taxation of Agriculture in Africa
It is typically assumed that African leaders enact policies that benefit their ethnoregional group using all types of patronage. Crop production and political power are geographically concentrated in
Explaining the African Vote
In a shocking victory in Ghana’s 2008 presidential election, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) prevailed over the incumbent New Patriotic Party (NPP) by one-half of one percentage
Political Competition and Ethnic Identification in Africa
This article draws on data from over 35,000 respondents in 22 public opinion surveys in 10 countries and finds strong evidence that ethnic identities in Africa are strengthened by exposure to
What Drives the Swing Voter in Africa?
What makes African voters “up for grabs”? Existing approaches to the swing voter have several liabilities. This article introduces a new measure enabling a more comprehensive assessment of swing
Most concepts of ethnicity are unsuitable for political analysis because they ignore either subjective or objective aspects, and because they ignore the fluid and situational nature of ethnicity. The