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Parochial Politics: Ethnic Preferences and Politician Corruption

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  • Banerjee, Abhijit V.

    (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

  • Pande, Rohini

    (Harvard U)

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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government in its series Working Paper Series with number rwp07-031.

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Date of creation: Jun 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp07-031

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  1. Francesco Caselli & Wilbur John Coleman II, 2013. "On The Theory Of Ethnic Conflict," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11, pages 161-192, 01.
  2. 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.
  3. Edward L. Glaeser & Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2004. "Strategic Extremism: Why Republicans and Democrats Divide on Religious Values," NBER Working Papers 10835, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Alesina, Alberto & Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William, 1999. "Public goods and ethnic divisions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2108, The World Bank.
  5. Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, . "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," Penn CARESS Working Papers ecf70d639d700dba5327ab0c8, Penn Economics Department.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinksi, 1995. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," Department of Economics Working Papers 1995-01, McMaster University.
  9. 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.
  10. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1994. "On the Measurement of Polarization," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(4), pages 819-51, July.
  11. 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.
  12. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
  13. 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.
  14. Rosenthal, Howard & Alesina, Alberto, 1989. "Partisan Cycles in Congressional Elections and the Macroeconomy," Scholarly Articles 4553031, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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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. Sitakanta Panda, 2012. "Legislator characteristics and legislative outcomes in India," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(4), pages 3401-3416.
  3. Kaivan Munshi & Mark Rosenzweig, 2013. "Networks, Commitment, and Competence: Caste in Indian Local Politics," NBER Working Papers 19197, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. William Easterly, 2009. "Can the West Save Africa?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 373-447, June.
  5. Marie-Anne Valfort, 2007. "Containing ethnic conflicts through ethical voting? Evidence from Ethiopia," HiCN Working Papers 35, Households in Conflict Network.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

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