Trickle-Down Ethnic Politics: Drunk and Absent in the Kenya Police Force (1957-1970)

Publication Year
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy

Using a panel of 6,784 Kenyan police officers, we show how the rise of ethnic politics encroached on their daily behavior during Kenya's independence period (1957-1970). We find a significant deterioration in discipline after Kenya's first multiparty election in 1961 for those police officers of ethnic groups associated with the dominant KANU party. These effects are not driven by the selection of policemen, as individual officers change their behavior when their ethnic group gains political power. While we find no evidence of favoritism within the police, we show that shocks to political dominance can still change attitudes and job performance. This paper is now forthcoming at The American Economic Journal: Economic Policy.

Additional Authors
Alexander Moradi

Vanden Eynde, Oliver, Patrick M. Kuhn, and Alexander Moradi. 2018. "Trickle-Down Ethnic Politics: Drunk and Absent in the Kenya Police Force (1957-1970)." American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 10 (3): 388-417.DOI: 10.1257/pol.20160384

Publication Topic
Political Development
Publication Type
Academic Journal Article