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Does Political Reservation Affect Voting Behavior? Empirical Evidence from India

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  • Mori, Yuko
  • Kurosaki, Takashi
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    Abstract

    This paper empirically examines the impact of political reservation for disadvantaged groups on voting behavior. Using microdata from the National Election Study of the 2004 parliamentary elections in India, we find that in a reserved constituency, where only members of the disadvantaged castes can stand for election, voters of the disadvantaged castes are encouraged to vote. On the other hand, the system of constituency reservation does not have any impact on the turnout of voters belonging to other groups, including relatively upper caste voters. This finding suggests that political reservation does not crowd out the electoral participation of other groups. These voters, however, tend to vote for the right-wing political party in reserved constituencies. This implies a possibility that the political reservation might provoke a social cleavage along castes in Indian politics.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University in its series CEI Working Paper Series with number 2012-09.

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    Length: 39, 13 p.
    Date of creation: Jan 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:hit:hitcei:2012-09

    Note: January 2013
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    Keywords: political reservation; affirmative action; voter turnout; political economy;

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    1. Rohini Pande, 2002. "Can mandated political representation increase policy influence for disadvantaged minorities? Theory and evidence from India," Discussion Papers 0102-62, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
    2. Timothy Besley & Rohini Pande & Lupin Rahman & Vijayendra Rao, 2004. "The Politics of Public Good Provision: Evidence from Indian Local Governments," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 416-426, 04/05.
    3. Bardhan Pranab K. & Mookherjee Dilip & Parra Torrado Monica, 2010. "Impact of Political Reservations in West Bengal Local Governments on Anti-Poverty Targeting," Journal of Globalization and Development, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-38, January.
    4. Aimee Chin & Nishith Prakash, 2010. "The Redistributive Effects of Political Reservation for Minorities: Evidence from India," NBER Working Papers 16509, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Raghabendra Chattopadhyay & Esther Duflo, 2004. "Women as Policy Makers: Evidence from a Randomized Policy Experiment in India," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(5), pages 1409-1443, 09.
    6. Lakshmi Iyer & Anandi Mani & Prachi Mishra & Petia Topalova, 2011. "The Power of Political Voice: Women's Political Representation and Crime in India," Harvard Business School Working Papers 11-092, Harvard Business School, revised Aug 2011.
    7. Gine, Xavier & Mansuri, Ghazala, 2011. "Together we will : experimental evidence on female voting behavior in Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5692, The World Bank.
    8. Ebonya Washington, 2006. "How Black Candidates Affect Voter Turnout," NBER Working Papers 11915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Lee, David S., 2008. "Randomized experiments from non-random selection in U.S. House elections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 675-697, February.
    10. Alan Gerber & Donald Green & Ron Shachar, 2003. "Voting may be habit forming: Evidence from a randomized field experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00251, The Field Experiments Website.
    11. Fernando Ferreira & Joseph Gyourko, 2009. "Do Political Parties Matter? Evidence from U.S. Cities-super-," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(1), pages 399-422, February.
    12. Washington, Ebonya, 2006. "How Black Candidates Affect Voter Turnout," Working Papers 16, Yale University, Department of Economics.
    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. Hausman, J. A. & Abrevaya, Jason & Scott-Morton, F. M., 1998. "Misclassification of the dependent variable in a discrete-response setting," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 239-269, September.
    15. Esther Duflo, 2005. "Why Political Reservations?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 668-678, 04/05.
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