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Can Mandated Political Representation Increase Policy Influence for Disadvantaged Minorities? Theory and Evidence from India

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  • Rohini Pande

Abstract

A basic premise of representative democracy is that all those subject to policy should have a voice in its making. However, policies enacted by electorally accountable governments often fail to reflect the interests of disadvantaged minorities. This paper exploits the institutional features of political reservation, as practiced in Indian states, to examine the role of mandated political representation in providing disadvantaged groups influence over policy-making. I find that political reservation has increased transfers to groups which benefit from the mandate. This finding also suggests that complete policy commitment may be absent in democracies, as is found in this case. (JEL D72, D78, H11, H50)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 93 (2003)
Issue (Month): 4 (September)
Pages: 1132-1151

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:93:y:2003:i:4:p:1132-1151

Note: DOI: 10.1257/000282803769206232
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  1. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1997. "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 85-114, February.
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  3. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 1998. "Land Reform, Poverty Reduction and Growth: Evidence from India," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 13, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
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  8. Lena Edlund & Rohini Pande, 2002. "Why Have Women Become Left-Wing? The Political Gender Gap And The Decline In Marriage," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 917-961, August.
  9. Raghabendra Chattopadhyay & Esther Duflo, 2001. "Women as Policy Makers: Evidence from a India-Wide Randomized Policy Experiment," NBER Working Papers 8615, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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