Will Vote for Food? Regime Type and Equity in the Developing World



Competitive elections are now a common mechanism for gaining power in much of the developing world Many scholars, politicians, and citizens expect elections to lead to improved living conditions for the masses. This article tests the relationship between regime type and improvements in calorie consumption. Highly cross-section dominant pooled time series regression is employed on a longitudinal data set of 173 cases. Democracy has a strong and significant effect on changes in food consumption, and the relationship is U-shaped. Autocracies perform better than countries with a few years of democracy over a 15-year period. Countries with twelve to 15 years of democracy perform best. The article also proposes that change in calorie consumption is a useful surrogate for equity.