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Jobs for votes? Measuring Patronage Hiring in Ghana

Institutions & Governance Ghana

Many developing countries are struggling to transition from patron politics towards a more inclusive structure. This study evaluates patronage politics in sub-Saharan Africa by measuring whether bureaucratic hiring practices favor co-partisan applicants in Ghana. By analyzing data of nearly 18,000 bureaucrats, researchers assess partisanship as a factor for hiring practices. Results suggest that while politicians hire partisans for lower-ranked positions, they avoid interfering in recruitment to top-ranked positions. Thus, partisan bias occurs for menial jobs, but not professional positions. This contributes to literature on patronage hiring, confirming the mixed effects of electoral competition.

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