IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Fighting corruption or elections? The politics of anti-corruption policies in India: A subnational study

Listed author(s):
  • Vadlamannati, Krishna Chaitanya
Registered author(s):

    This paper extends political budget cycles theory to corruption, where an incumbent government considers controlling corruption based purely on political considerations. Using panel data on 30 Indian states during the 1988–2009 period, I investigate whether the timing of elections affects the incumbent government’s efforts to control corruption. Consistent with the idea that an incumbent politician might exert greater effort to control corruption during election years, I find that scheduled elections (as opposed to unscheduled elections) are associated with an increase in the number of corruption cases registered by the respective state’s anti-corruption agencies, although the substantive impact is small. Furthermore, I find this effect in ‘swing states’ where margin of victory for the incumbent in previous elections has been narrow. On the other hand, there is no effect of scheduled elections on corruption cases being investigated by anti-corruption agencies. Thus, the argument that Indian politicians engage in ‘cheap talk’ on controlling corruption, especially during election periods is suggestive at best.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0147596715000037
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Comparative Economics.

    Volume (Year): 43 (2015)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 1035-1052

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:43:y:2015:i:4:p:1035-1052
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2015.01.002
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622864

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as
    in new window


    1. Alesina, Alberto & Sachs, Jeffrey, 1988. "Political Parties and the Business Cycle in the United States, 1948-1984," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 20(1), pages 63-82, February.
    2. Brunetti, Aymo & Weder, Beatrice, 2003. "A free press is bad news for corruption," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1801-1824, August.
    3. Sachs, Jeffrey & Alesina, Alberto, 1988. "Political Parties and the Business Cycle in the United States, 1948-1984," Scholarly Articles 4553026, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    4. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2007. "Bureaucrats or Politicians? Part I: A Single Policy Task," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 169-179, March.
    5. Niklas Potrafke, 2012. "Political cycles and economic performance in OECD countries: empirical evidence from 1951–2006," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 150(1), pages 155-179, January.
    6. Chemin, Matthieu, 2009. "Do judiciaries matter for development? Evidence from India," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 230-250, June.
    7. Toke S. Aidt, 2009. "Corruption, institutions, and economic development," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(2), pages 271-291, Summer.
    8. Assar Lindbeck & Jörgen Weibull, 1987. "Balanced-budget redistribution as the outcome of political competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 273-297, January.
    9. Bianca Clausen & Aart Kraay & Zsolt Nyiri, 2011. "Corruption and Confidence in Public Institutions: Evidence from a Global Survey," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 25(2), pages 212-249.
    10. Fair, Ray C, 1978. "The Effect of Economic Events on Votes for President," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(2), pages 159-173, May.
    11. Dreher, Axel & Kotsogiannis, Christos & McCorriston, Steve, 2007. "Corruption around the world: Evidence from a structural model," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 443-466, September.
    12. Arulampalam, Wiji & Dasgupta, Sugato & Dhillon, Amrita & Dutta, Bhaskar, 2009. "Electoral goals and center-state transfers: A theoretical model and empirical evidence from India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 103-119, January.
    13. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 1995. "Does Electoral Accountability Affect Economic Policy Choices? Evidence from Gubernatorial Term Limits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 769-798.
    14. Axel Dreher & Friedrich Schneider, 2010. "Corruption and the shadow economy: an empirical analysis," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 144(1), pages 215-238, July.
    15. Shi, Min & Svensson, Jakob, 2006. "Political budget cycles: Do they differ across countries and why?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1367-1389, September.
    16. Dixit, Avinash & Londregan, John, 1995. "Redistributive Politics and Economic Efficiency," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 89(04), pages 856-866, December.
    17. Anne van Aaken & Lars P. Feld & Stefan Voigt, 2008. "Power over Prosecutors Corrupts Politicians: Cross Country Evidence Using a New Indicator," MAGKS Papers on Economics 200801, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    18. Glaeser, Edward L. & Saks, Raven E., 2006. "Corruption in America," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(6-7), pages 1053-1072, August.
    19. Potrafke, Niklas, 2012. "Intelligence and corruption," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 114(1), pages 109-112.
    20. Kenneth Rogoff & Anne Sibert, 1988. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(1), pages 1-16.
    21. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2000. "Land Reform, Poverty Reduction, and Growth: Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 389-430.
    22. Sharif, Iffath A., 2011. "Does political competition lessen ethnic discrimination? Evidence from Sri Lanka," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 277-289, March.
    23. Treisman, Daniel, 2000. "The causes of corruption: a cross-national study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 399-457, June.
    24. Claudio Ferraz & Frederico Finan, 2008. "Exposing Corrupt Politicians: The Effects of Brazil's Publicly Released Audits on Electoral Outcomes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 703-745.
    25. Alesina, Alberto & Cohen, Gerald D. & Roubini, Nouriel, 1993. "Electoral business cycle in industrial democracies," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 1-23, March.
    26. Christian Bjørnskov & Andreas Freytag, 2016. "An offer you can’t refuse: murdering journalists as an enforcement mechanism of corrupt deals," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 167(3), pages 221-243, June.
    27. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1990. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 21-36, March.
    28. 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.
    29. Murphy, Kevin M & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1993. "Why Is Rent-Seeking So Costly to Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 409-414, May.
    30. Dreher, Axel & Gassebner, Martin, 2008. "Does political proximity to the U.S. cause terror?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 27-29, April.
    31. Gerring, John & Thacker, Strom C., 2004. "Political Institutions and Corruption: The Role of Unitarism and Parliamentarism," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 34(02), pages 295-330, April.
    32. Krueger, Anne O, 1974. "The Political Economy of the Rent-Seeking Society," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(3), pages 291-303, June.
    33. Toke S. Aidt, 2003. "Economic analysis of corruption: a survey," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(491), pages 632-652, November.
    34. Pranab Bardhan, 1997. "Corruption and Development: A Review of Issues," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1320-1346, September.
    35. repec:cup:apsrev:v:69:y:1975:i:03:p:812-826_24 is not listed on IDEAS
    36. Christian Bjørnskov, 2012. "Can bribes buy protection against international competition?," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 148(4), pages 751-775, December.
    37. Snyder, James M, 1989. "Election Goals and the Allocation of Campaign Resources," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 637-660, May.
    38. Mauro, Paolo, 1998. "Corruption and the composition of government expenditure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 263-279, June.
    39. William D. Nordhaus, 1975. "The Political Business Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 169-190.
    40. Ehrlich, Isaac, 1973. "Participation in Illegitimate Activities: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 521-565, May-June.
    41. Paolo Mauro, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712.
    42. repec:cup:apsrev:v:103:y:2009:i:01:p:99-112_09 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:43:y:2015:i:4:p:1035-1052. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.