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Fixing Market Failures or Fixing Elections? Agricultural Credit in India

  • Shawn Cole

This paper integrates theories of political budget cycles with theories of tactical electoral redistribution to test for political capture in a novel way. Studying banks in India, I find that government-owned bank lending tracks the electoral cycle, with agricultural credit increasing by 5-10 percentage points in an election year. There is significant cross-sectional targeting, with large increases in districts in which the election is particularly close. This targeting does not occur in nonelection years or in private bank lending. I show capture is costly: elections affect loan repayment, and election-year credit booms do not measurably affect agricultural output. (JEL D72, O13, O17, Q14, Q18)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/app.1.1.219
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 1 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 219-50

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:1:y:2009:i:1:p:219-50
Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.1.1.219
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  1. Khemani, Stuti, 2007. "Does delegation of fiscal policy to an independent agency make a difference? Evidence from intergovernmental transfers in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 464-484, March.
  2. Dahlberg, Matz & Johansson, Eva, 1999. "On the Vote Purchasing Behavior of Incumbent Governments," Working Paper Series 1999:24, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
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  5. Khemani, Stuti, 2004. "Political cycles in a developing economy: effect of elections in the Indian States," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 125-154, February.
  6. Akhmed Akhmedov & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2003. "Opportunistic Political Cycles: Test in a Young Democracy Setting," Working Papers w0024, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  7. Snyder, James M, 1989. "Election Goals and the Allocation of Campaign Resources," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 637-60, May.
  8. Steven D. Levitt & James M. Snyder, Jr., 1995. "The Impact of Federal Spending on House Election Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 5002, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopezde-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2000. "Government Ownership of Banks," NBER Working Papers 7620, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Case, Anne, 2001. "Election goals and income redistribution: Recent evidence from Albania," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 405-423, March.
  11. Besley, T., 1993. "Savings, Credit and Insurance," Papers 167, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  12. Shawn Cole, 2009. "Financial Development, Bank Ownership, and Growth: Or, Does Quantity Imply Quality?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 33-51, February.
  13. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
  14. Robin Burgess & Rohini Pande & Grace Wong, 2005. "Banking for the Poor: Evidence From India," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 268-278, 04/05.
  15. Asim Ijaz Khwaja & Atif Mian, 2005. "Do Lenders Favor Politically Connected Firms? Rent Provision in an Emerging Financial Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1371-1411.
  16. Sapienza, Paola, 2004. "The effects of government ownership on bank lending," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 357-384, May.
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