Publication details for Dr Patrick M KuhnEynde, Oliver Vanden, Kuhn, Patrick M. & Moradi, Alexander (2018). Trickle-Down Ethnic Politics: Drunk and Absent in the Kenya Police Force (1957-1970). American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 10(3): 388-417.
- Publication type: Journal Article
- ISSN/ISBN: 1945-7731, 1945-774X
- DOI: 10.1257/pol.20160384
- Further publication details on publisher web site
- Durham Research Online (DRO) - may include full text
Author(s) from Durham
How does ethnic politics affect the state’s ability to provide policing services? Using a panel of administrative personnel data on the full careers of 6,784 police officers, we show how the rise of ethnic politics around Kenya’s independence influenced policemen’s behavior. We find a significant deterioration in discipline after Kenya’s first multiparty election for those police officers of ethnic groups associated with the ruling party. These effects are driven by a behavioral change among these policemen. We find no evidence of favoritism within the police. Instead, our results are consistent with co-ethnic officers experiencing an emboldenment effect. Our findings highlight that the state’s security apparatus, at its most granular level, is not insulated from ethnic politics.