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Political Selection and the Qualilty of Government: Evidence from South India

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Author Info

  • Timothy Besley

    ()
    (London School of Economics)

  • Rohini Pande

    ()
    (Economic Growth Center, Yale University)

  • Vijayendra Rao

    ()
    (World Bank)

Abstract

This paper uses household data from India to examine the economic and social status of village politicians, and how individual and village characteristics affect politician behavior while in office. Education increases the chances of selection to public office and reduces the odds that a politician uses political power opportunistically. In contrast, land ownership and political connections enable selection but do not affect politician opportunism. At the village level, changes in the identity of the politically dominant group alters the group allocation of resources but not politician opportunism. Improved information flows in the village, however, reduce opportunism and improve resource allocation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Economic Growth Center, Yale University in its series Working Papers with number 921.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:921

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Keywords: Development; Political Economy; Public Provision of Private Goods; Decentralization;

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References

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  1. Panu Poutvaara & Tuomas Takalo, 2004. "Candidate Quality," Public Economics 0406009, EconWPA.
  2. Coate, Stephen & Morris, Stephen, 1995. "On the Form of Transfers in Special Interests," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1210-35, December.
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  4. Gehlbach, Scott & Sonin, Konstantin, 2004. "Businessman Candidates: Special-Interest Politics in Weakly Institutionalized Environments," CEPR Discussion Papers 4822, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Goverment," NBER Working Papers 6727, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. Thomas S. Dee, 2003. "Are There Civic Returns to Education?," NBER Working Papers 9588, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Rohini Pande, 2003. "Can Mandated Political Representation Increase Policy Influence for Disadvantaged Minorities? Theory and Evidence from India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1132-1151, September.
  10. Caselli, Francesco & Morelli, Massimo, 2000. "Bad Politicians," CEPR Discussion Papers 2402, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Gehlbach, Scott & Sonin, Konstantin & Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, 2006. "Businessman Candidates," CEPR Discussion Papers 5985, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Esther Duflo & Petia Topalova, 2004. "Unappreciated service: Performance, perceptions, and women leaders in india," Framed Field Experiments 00233, The Field Experiments Website.
  13. 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.
  14. Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, . "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," Penn CARESS Working Papers ecf70d639d700dba5327ab0c8, Penn Economics Department.
  15. Robert Barro, 1973. "The control of politicians: An economic model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 19-42, March.
  16. Timothy Besley & Rohini Pande & Vijayendra Rao, 2005. "Participatory Democracy in Action: Survey Evidence from South India," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 648-657, 04/05.
  17. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinksi, 1995. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," Department of Economics Working Papers 1995-01, McMaster University.
  18. Faguet, Jean-Paul, 2001. "Does decentralization increase responsiveness to local needs? - evidence from Bolivia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2516, The World Bank.
  19. Milligan, Kevin & Moretti, Enrico & Oreopoulos, Philip, 2004. "Does education improve citizenship? Evidence from the United States and the United Kingdom," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1667-1695, August.
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