Discussion paper

DP19168 Political Selection in Local Elections: Evidence from Rural Uganda

Political selection is crucial to the quality of governance. Yet our general knowledge of individual characteristics that correlate with the political selection process is scant. Our paper contributes to this knowledge gap by collecting detailed data on the quality, perceptions, attitudes, and promises of candidates involved in a recent local election in 100 rural villages of Uganda. We complement candidates’ data with comparable data from a representative sample of male and female voters from the same villages. Our context is unique - with two separate governing bodies for males and females. The paper demonstrates that male and female political selection into these two parallel institutions share important similarities but also differ along several dimensions. A core takeaway is how crucial are measures beyond the more standard economic and demographic characteristics. Subjective views as well as policy priorities are important determinants of the different stages of the political selection process.


Anderson, S, M Björkman Nyqvist and A Guariso (2024), ‘DP19168 Political Selection in Local Elections: Evidence from Rural Uganda‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 19168. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp19168