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Welfare Effects of Criminal Politicians: A Discontinuity-Based Approach

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  • Matthieu Chemin

Abstract

This paper uses unique data on the criminal records of Indian bureaucrats to examine the relationship between politicians' criminality and consumption, crime, and corruption. The identification relies on a regression discontinuity design by which individuals living in districts where a criminal politician was barely elected are compared with individuals living in districts where a criminal politician barely lost. The results show that criminal politicians decrease consumption by vulnerable sections of society: the monthly per capita expenditure of scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, or other backward classes decreases by 19 percent. This paper suggests that the effect of criminal politicians on criminality and corruption may explain this result.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthieu Chemin, 2012. "Welfare Effects of Criminal Politicians: A Discontinuity-Based Approach," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55(3), pages 667-690.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:doi:10.1086/664574
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Imbens, Guido W. & Lemieux, Thomas, 2008. "Regression discontinuity designs: A guide to practice," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 615-635, February.
    2. Lakshmi Iyer & Anandi Mani, 2012. "Traveling Agents: Political Change and Bureaucratic Turnover in India," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(3), pages 723-739, August.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. McCrary, Justin, 2008. "Manipulation of the running variable in the regression discontinuity design: A density test," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 698-714, February.
    6. Wilbert van der Klaauw, 2002. "Estimating the Effect of Financial Aid Offers on College Enrollment: A Regression-Discontinuity Approach," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(4), pages 1249-1287, November.
    7. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "Using Maimonides' Rule to Estimate the Effect of Class Size on Scholastic Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 533-575.
    8. 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 201-209, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kai Gehring & T. Florian Kauffeldt & Krishna Chaitanya Vadlamannati, 2015. "Crime, Incentives and Political Effort: A Model and Empirical Application for India," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 170, Courant Research Centre PEG.

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