Working Paper 155

Can citizen-led protests lead to meaningful economic redistribution and nudge governments to increase their efforts to redistribute fiscal resources? We study the effects of protests on fiscal redistribution using evidence from Nigeria. We digitised 26 years of public finance data from 1988 to 2016 to examine the effects of protests on intergovernmental transfers. We find that protests increase transfers to protesting regions, but only in areas that are politically aligned with disbursing governments. Protesters also face increased police violence. Non-protest conflicts do not affect transfers and protests do not affect non-transfer revenue. The results show that protests can influence fiscal redistribution.


Belinda Archibong

Belinda Archibong is an assistant professor of economics at Barnard College, Columbia University. Her research areas include development economics, political economy, economic history and environmental economics with an African regional focus. She is a faculty affiliate at Columbia University's Center for Development Economics and Policy (CDEP), the Earth Institute at Columbia University, the Institute of African Studies, the Institute for Research in African-American Studies, the Columbia Population Research Center (CPRC), and the Center for Environmental Economics and Policy (CEEP).

Tom Moerenhout

Dr. Tom Moerenhout (Columbia University) leads research on the political economy and international economic law of policy interventions in the area of sustainable development. He is also senior associate at the Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI) of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).

Evans Osabuohien

Evans S. Osabuohien is Professor of Economics & former Head, Department of Economics and Development Studies, Covenant University, Nigeria. He was the Pioneer Chair of the Centre for Economic Policy & Development Research (CEPDeR) at Covenant University, Nigeria. He is Alexander von Humboldt (AvH) Visiting Professor at Witten/Herdecke University, Germany and Visiting at Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo, Mozambique.
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