Citizen Attitudes towards Traditional and State Authorities: Substitutes or Complements?

Forthcoming in Comparative Political Science

56 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2020

See all articles by Peter Van der Windt

Peter Van der Windt

New York University (NYU) - New York University Abu Dhabi

Macartan Humphreys

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Lily Medina

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Jeffrey F. Timmons

NYU Abu Dhabi

Maarten Voors

Wageningen UR

Date Written: November 27, 2018

Abstract

Do citizens view state and traditional authorities as substitutes or complements? Past work has been divided on this question. Some scholars point to competition between attitudes toward these entities, suggesting substitution, whereas others highlight positive correlations, suggesting complementarity. Addressing this question, however, is difficult, as it requires assessing the effects of exogenous changes in the latent valuation of one authority on an individual’s support for another. We show that this quantity — a type of elasticity — cannot be inferred from correlations between support for the two forms of authority. We employ a structural model to estimate this elasticity of substitution using data from 816 villages in the Democratic Republic of Congo and plausibly exogenous rainfall and conflict shocks. Despite prima facie evidence for substitution logics, our model’s outcomes are consistent with complementarity; positive changes in citizen valuation of the chief appear to translate into positive changes in support for the government.

Keywords: Social Contract, Central authority, Traditional authority, Congo

JEL Classification: D01

Suggested Citation

Van der Windt, Peter and Humphreys, Macartan and Medina, Lily and Timmons, Jeffrey F. and Voors, Maarten, Citizen Attitudes towards Traditional and State Authorities: Substitutes or Complements? (November 27, 2018). Forthcoming in Comparative Political Science, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3520485

Peter Van der Windt (Contact Author)

New York University (NYU) - New York University Abu Dhabi ( email )

Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates

Macartan Humphreys

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Lily Medina

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Jeffrey F. Timmons

NYU Abu Dhabi ( email )

PO Box 129188
Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates
(971) 262 84523 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://https://nyuad.nyu.edu/en/academics/faculty/jeffrey-timmons.html

Maarten Voors

Wageningen UR ( email )

Hollandseweg 1
Wageningen, 6706KN
Netherlands

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