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Sweetening the Deal? Political Connections and Sugar Mills in India

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  • Sandip Sukhtankar

Abstract

Political control of firms is prevalent across the world. Evidence suggests that firms profit from political connections, and politicians derive benefit from control over firms. This paper investigates an alternative mechanism through which politicians may benefit electorally from connected firms, examining sugar mills in India. I find evidence of embezzlement in politically controlled mills during election years, reflected in lower prices paid to farmers for cane. This result complements the literature on political cycles by demonstrating how campaign funds are raised rather than used. Politicians may recompense farmers upon getting elected, possibly explaining how they can get away with pilferage. (JEL D72, G34, L66, O13, O17, Q12, Q13)

Suggested Citation

  • Sandip Sukhtankar, 2012. "Sweetening the Deal? Political Connections and Sugar Mills in India," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 43-63, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:4:y:2012:i:3:p:43-63 Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.4.3.43
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dinc, I. Serdar, 2005. "Politicians and banks: Political influences on government-owned banks in emerging markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 453-479, August.
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    6. Min Shi & Jakob Svensson, 2003. "Political Budget Cycles: A Review of Recent Developments," Nordic Journal of Political Economy, Nordic Journal of Political Economy, pages 67-76.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:hal:journl:hal-01291401 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Sukhtankar, Sandip, 2016. "Does firm ownership structure matter? Evidence from sugar mills in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 46-62.
    3. Eric Dubois, 2016. "Political business cycles 40 years after Nordhaus," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 166(1), pages 235-259, January.
    4. Grossman, Richard S. & Imai, Masami, 2016. "Taking the lord's name in vain: The impact of connected directors on 19th century British banks," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 75-93.
    5. Eric Dubois, 2016. "Political Business Cycles 40 Years after Nordhaus," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-01291401, HAL.
    6. Parey, Matthias & Rasul, Imran, 2017. "Measuring the Market Size for Cannabis: A New Approach Using Forensic Economics," CEPR Discussion Papers 12161, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Sam Asher & Paul Novosad, 2017. "Politics and Local Economic Growth: Evidence from India," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, pages 229-273.
    8. Gopalakrishnan, Balagopal, 2017. "What Does Matched Bank-Firm Data Tell Us about the Moral Hazard in Lending Decisions of State-Owned Banks in India? (Revised as on January 3, 2018)," IIMA Working Papers W. P. No. 2017-11-02, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Research and Publication Department.
    9. Divya Datt, 2015. "Environmental Policy in a Federation with Special Interest Politics and Inter-governmental Grants," Centre for International Trade and Development, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi Discussion Papers 15-02, Centre for International Trade and Development, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India.
    10. 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.
    11. Divya Datt & Meeta Keswani Mehra, 2016. "Environmental Policy in a Federation with Special Interest Politics and Inter-Governmental Grants," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, pages 575-595.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • L66 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Food; Beverages; Cosmetics; Tobacco
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness

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