CEMFI publishes two series of research papers: Working Papers and Master Theses. The Working Papers series contains research work from full-time professors and PhD students.
Monica Martinez-Bravo, Priya Mukherjee, Andreas Stegmann
A large theoretical literature argues that legacies of non-democratic regimes can affect the quality of governance in new democracies. However, the empirical evidence is scarce. This paper exploits a natural experiment that took place in the Indonesian democratic transition: the Soeharto-regime mayors were allowed to finish their five year terms before being replaced by new leaders. Since mayors' political cycles were not synchronized, this event generated exogenous variation in how long the agents of the old regime remained in their position during the democratic transition. The results suggest that districts which had an old-regime mayor for longer exhibit worse governance outcomes, lower public good provision, and greater electoral support for Soeharto's party. These effects persist several years after the oldregime mayors are no longer in office. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that slower transitions towards democracy allow the old-regime elites to find ways of capturing democracy in the medium and long run.