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Home | News | Paper by Paul Pelzl and Steven Poelhekke published in the Journal of Economic Growth
News | February 24, 2023

Paper by Paul Pelzl and Steven Poelhekke published in the Journal of Economic Growth

The article ‘Democratization, leader education and growth: firm-level evidence from Indonesia' by TI alumnus Paul Pelzl (NHH Norwegian School of Economics, Norway) and research fellow Steven Poelhekke (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) has been published in the Journal of Economic Growth.

Paper by Paul Pelzl and Steven Poelhekke published in the Journal of Economic Growth

Abstract
Does the economic success of democratization depend on newly elected leaders’ characteristics? We exploit the unique Indonesian democratization process, where districts exogenously democratized in different years. In a census of manufacturing plants, employment drops by 5% in districts that elect a non-college educated mayor, while employment stays constant under college graduates. Non-college educated mayors substantially raise taxation but provide less infrastructure, do not spend more on social programs, and are more often involved in corruption cases. Other leader attributes and district characteristics, as well as tests for pre-treatment trends, for selection on unobservables, and for close elections do not explain away the important role of leaders’ education in shaping local policies and growth.

Article Citation:
Paul Pelzl and Steven Poelhekke, “Democratization, leader education and growth: firm-level evidence from Indonesia”, Journal of Economic Growth, 15 February 2023. https://doi-org.vu-nl.idm.oclc.org/10.1007/s10887-022-09221-5.