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The Disadvantaged Incumbents: Estimating Incumbency Effects in Indian State Legislatures

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  • Uppal, Yogesh

Abstract

This paper estimates the effect of a candidate’s incumbency status on his or her chances of winning using a large dataset on state legislative elections in India during 1975-2003. I use an innovative research design, called Regression Discontinuity Design (RDD), that provides unbiased estimate of the effect due to incumbency by comparing the candidates in closely fought elections, and find that incumbency has a significant negative effect on the fortunes of incumbent candidates in India and the incumbency effect has decreased further in the last decade. Also, the variation in the incumbency effects across Indian states depends on the differences in levels of public good provision such as the health facilities, rates of employment and poverty, and state per capita income.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 8515.

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Date of creation: 15 Dec 2007
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:8515

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Keywords: Anti-incumbency; Indian elections; regression discontinuity design (RDD);

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  1. Bardhan, Pranab & Mookherjee, Dilip, 2005. "Decentralizing antipoverty program delivery in developing countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(4), pages 675-704, April.
  2. David S. Lee & Enrico Moretti & Matthew J. Butler, 2004. "Do Voters Affect Or Elect Policies? Evidence from the U. S. House," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(3), pages 807-859, August.
  3. Baron, David P, 1989. "Service-Induced Campaign Contributions and the Electoral Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(1), pages 45-72, February.
  4. 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.
  5. Pranab Bardhan & Dilip Mookherjee, 2000. "Corruption and Decentralization of Infrastructure Delivery in Developing Countries," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 104, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  6. Katz, Jonathan N., 1997. "A Statistical Model for Multiparty Electoral Data," Working Papers 1005, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  7. Bernhardt, M. Daniel & Ingerman, Daniel E., 1985. "Candidate reputations and the `incumbency effect'," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 47-67, June.
  8. Dilip Mookherjee & Pranab K. Bardhan, 2000. "Capture and Governance at Local and National Levels," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 135-139, May.
  9. Hahn, Jinyong & Todd, Petra & Van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2001. "Identification and Estimation of Treatment Effects with a Regression-Discontinuity Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 201-09, January.
  10. Cox, Gary W. & Katz, Jonathan N., 1995. "Why Did The Incumbency Advantage In U.S. House Elections Grow?," Working Papers 939, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
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Cited by:
  1. Grégoire ROTA-GRAZIOSI & Clémence VERGNE & Blanca MORENO DODSON, 2012. "Breaking the wave of democracy: The effect of foreign aid on the incumbent’s re-election probability," Working Papers 201231, CERDI.
  2. Yogesh Uppal, 2011. "Does legislative turnover adversely affect state expenditure policy? Evidence from Indian state elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 147(1), pages 189-207, April.
  3. Paul Redmond & John Regan, 2013. "Incumbency Advantage in Irish Elections: A Regression Discontinuity Analysis," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n241-13.pdf, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
  4. Srinivasan, Sunderasan, 2014. "Economic populism, partial deregulation of transport fuels and electoral outcomes in India," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 465-475.
  5. Bhalotra, Sonia R. & Clots-Figueras, Irma & Iyer, Lakshmi, 2013. "Path-Breakers: How Does Women's Political Participation Respond to Electoral Success?," IZA Discussion Papers 7771, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Golden, Miriam & Picci, Lucio, 2011. "Redistribution and Reelection under Proportional Representation: The Postwar Italian Chamber of Deputies," MPRA Paper 29956, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Forand, Jean Guillaume, 2014. "Two-party competition with persistent policies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 152(C), pages 64-91.
  8. Devesh Kapur, Milan Vaishnav, 2011. " Quid Pro Quo: Builders, Politicians, and Election Finance in India- Working Paper 276," Working Papers 276, Center for Global Development.
  9. Poonam Gupta & Arvind Panagariya, 2011. "India: Election Outcomes and Economic Performance," Working Papers 9999, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, revised Apr 2011.
  10. Leandro De Magalhães, 2012. "Incumbency Effects in Brazilian Mayoral Elections:A Regression Discontinuity Design Abstract: I use a regression discontinuity design to study incumbency effects in Brazilian mayoral elections. For ma," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 12/284, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  11. De Benedetto, Marco Alberto & De Paola, Maria, 2013. "The Impact of Incumbency on Turnout: Evidence from Italian Municipalities," IZA Discussion Papers 7612, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Tandon, Sharad, 2012. "Election Outcomes and Food Security: Evidence from Consumption of Scheduled Castes and Tribes in India," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124414, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  13. Crost, Benjamin & Kambhampati, Uma S., 2010. "Political Market Characteristics and the Provision of Educational Infrastructure in North India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 195-204, February.
  14. Marco Alberto De Benedetto, 2014. "Incumbency Advantage at Municipal Elections in Italy: A Quasi-Experimental Approach," Birkbeck Working Papers in Economics and Finance 1408, Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics.
  15. Aidt, T. & Golden, M. A. & Tiwari, D., 2011. "Incumbents and Criminals in the Indian National Legislature," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1157, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  16. Hazama, Yasushi, 2012. "Non-economic voting and incumbent strength in Turkey," IDE Discussion Papers 340, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).

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