Politician Entry, Selection, and Performance in Sierra Leone
This project explores the relationship between regional party strongholds, where competition in the general election is weak and generates little accountability pressure, and the poor performance of elected officials. In such areas, the competition of import occurs at the primary stage, and internal party selection processes thus directly determine the characteristics and performance of elected representatives. In much of the developing world, these processes are opaque, controlled by elites, and likely hampered by information constraints. We propose to evaluate whether direct vote primaries, which broaden participation in the selection process to all card-carrying party members, and party primary conventions, which feature informative debates between aspirants, facilitate the election of more competent and accountable leaders.