Walters, L., Bittencourt, M, and Chisadza, C. (2019). Public Infrastructure Provision and Ethnic Favouritism: Evidence from South Africa. AidData Working Paper #84. Williamsburg, VA: AidData at William & Mary.
Does ethnic favouritism in administrative governments affect public infrastructure provision? While previous literature has studied the effects of ethnic favouritism on economic growth and development determinants, there has been limited empirical evidence on ethnic favouritism in public infrastructure provision, particularly in South Africa. We study the effects of ethnic favouritism on provision of water and electricity infrastructure. Using municipal-level data for 52 district municipalities from 1996 to 2016, we find that coethnic municipalities are associated with higher growth in infrastructure relative to non-coethnic municipalities. The results remain robust to time and municipal fixed effects, as well as dynamic specifications. Additionally, we construct a counterfactual scenario to confirm our results.