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Parochial Politics: Ethnic Preferences and Politician Corruption

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  • Banerjee, Abhijit
  • Pande, Rohini

Abstract

This paper examines how increased voter ethnicization, defined as a greater preference for the party representing one's ethnic group, affects politician quality. If politics is characterized by incomplete policy commitment, then ethnicization reduces average winner quality for the pro-majority party with the opposite true for the minority party. The effect increases with greater numerical dominance of the majority (and so social homogeneity). Empirical evidence from a survey on politician corruption that we conducted in North India is remarkably consistent with our theoretical predictions.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6381.

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Date of creation: Jul 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6381

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Keywords: Corruption; Ethnic Voting; India;

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References

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  1. Miguel, Edward & Gugerty, Mary Kay, 2005. "Ethnic diversity, social sanctions, and public goods in Kenya," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2325-2368, December.
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  3. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinksi, 1995. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," Department of Economics Working Papers 1995-01, McMaster University.
  4. Banerjee, Abhijit & Somanathan, Rohini, 2007. "The political economy of public goods: Some evidence from India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 287-314, March.
  5. Gerard Padro i Miquel, 2006. "The Control of Politicians in Divided Societies: The Politics of Fear," NBER Working Papers 12573, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
  7. 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.
  8. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1994. "On the Measurement of Polarization," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(4), pages 819-51, July.
  9. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-50, November.
  10. Rosenthal, Howard & Alesina, Alberto, 1989. "Partisan Cycles in Congressional Elections and the Macroeconomy," Scholarly Articles 4553031, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  11. Alesina, Alberto & Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William, 1999. "Public goods and ethnic divisions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2108, The World Bank.
  12. Edward L. Glaeser & Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2005. "Strategic Extremism: Why Republicans and Democrats Divide on Religious Values," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1283-1330, November.
  13. Jeffrey R. Kling & Jeffrey B. Liebman & Lawrence F. Katz, 2005. "Experimental Analysis of Neighborhood Effects," NBER Working Papers 11577, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Norris, Pippa & Mattes, Robert, 2003. "Does Ethnicity Determine Support for the Governing Party? The Structural and Attitudinal Basis of Partisan Identification in 12 African Nations," Working Paper Series rwp03-009, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
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Cited by:
  1. Munshi, Kaivan & Rosenzweig, Mark, 2008. "The Efficacy of Parochial Politics: Caste, Commitment, and Competence in Indian Local Government," Working Papers 53, Yale University, Department of Economics.
  2. Isaksson, Ann-Sofie & Bigsten, Arne, 2014. "Clientelism and ethnic divisions," Working Papers in Economics 598, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  3. Monojit Chatterji & Sushil Mohan & Sayantan Ghosh Dastidar, 2014. "Determinants of public education expenditure: Evidence from Indian states," Dundee Discussion Papers in Economics 279, Economic Studies, University of Dundee.
  4. Siwan Anderson & Patrick Francois & Ashok Kotwal, . "One Kind of DemocracyAbstract: This paper explores the performance of rural governance institutions (Gram Panchayats) in Maharashtra, India. The results of a detailed set of household and village surv," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 12/292, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  5. Sitakanta Panda, 2012. "Legislator characteristics and legislative outcomes in India," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(4), pages 3401-3416.
  6. William Easterly, 2008. "Can the West Save Africa?," NBER Working Papers 14363, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Kaivan Munshi & Mark Rosenzweig, 2013. "Networks, Commitment, and Competence: Caste in Indian Local Politics," NBER Working Papers 19197, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Marie-Anne Valfort, 2007. "Containing ethnic conflicts through ethical voting? Evidence from Ethiopia," HiCN Working Papers 35, Households in Conflict Network.

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