IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cam/camdae/1157.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Incumbents and Criminals in the Indian National Legislature

Author

Listed:
  • Aidt, T.
  • Golden, M. A.
  • Tiwari, D.

Abstract

Utilizing data on criminal charges lodged against candidates to the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Lok Sabha, India’s lower house of representatives, we study the conditions that resulted in approximately a quarter of members of parliament elected in 2004 and in 2009 facing or having previously faced criminal charges. Our results document that Indian political parties are more likely to select alleged criminal candidates when confronting greater electoral uncertainty and in parliamentary constituencies whose populations exhibit lower levels of literacy. We interpret the decisions of political parties to enlist known criminals as candidates as a function of the capacity of these candidates to intimidate voters. To substantiate this, we show that criminal candidates depress electoral turnout. In addition, our results suggest that India’s well-known incumbency disadvantage stems from the superior electoral performance of allegedly criminal candidates, who drive parliamentary incumbents from office. Our study raises questions for democratic theory, which claims that electoral competition improves accountability, and for the future of the Indian polity, which is experiencing a growing criminalization of the national political arena.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:1157
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/research-files/repec/cam/pdf/cwpe1157.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Matthieu Chemin, 2008. "Do Criminals Politicians Reduce Corruption? Evidence from India," Cahiers de recherche 0825, CIRPEE.
    2. Hamlin, Alan & Jennings, Colin, 2011. "Expressive Political Behaviour: Foundations, Scope and Implications," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(3), pages 645-670, July.
    3. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2002. "The Political Economy of Government Responsiveness: Theory and Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1415-1451.
    4. Clots-Figueras, Irma, 2011. "Women in politics: Evidence from the Indian States," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 664-690, August.
    5. 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.
    6. Yogesh Uppal, 2009. "The disadvantaged incumbents: estimating incumbency effects in Indian state legislatures," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 138(1), pages 9-27, January.
    7. Tomz, Michael & Wittenberg, Jason & King, Gary, 2003. "Clarify: Software for Interpreting and Presenting Statistical Results," Journal of Statistical Software, Foundation for Open Access Statistics, vol. 8(i01).
    8. Ritva Reinikka & Jakob Svensson, 2005. "Fighting Corruption to Improve Schooling: Evidence from a Newspaper Campaign in Uganda," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 259-267, 04/05.
    9. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. China, India and All That
      by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson in Why Nations Fail on 2012-11-02 20:00:00

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Gehring, Kai & Kauffeldt, T. Florian & Vadlamannati, Krishna Chaitanya, 2019. "Crime, incentives and political effort: Evidence from India," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 1-20.
    2. Afridi, Farzana & Dhillon, Amrita & Solan, Eilon, 2019. "Electoral Competition and Corruption: Theory and Evidence from India," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 423, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    3. P. Duraisamy & Bruno Jérôme, 2017. "Who wins in the Indian parliament election: Criminals, wealthy and incumbents?," Journal of Social and Economic Development, Springer;Institute for Social and Economic Change, vol. 19(2), pages 245-262, October.
    4. Enriqueta Aragonès & Javier Rivas & Áron Tóth, 2019. "Voter Heterogeneity and Political Corruption," Working Papers 1121, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    5. Prakash, Nishith & Rockmore, Marc & Uppal, Yogesh, 2019. "Do criminally accused politicians affect economic outcomes? Evidence from India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 141(C).
    6. Bharatee Bhusana, Ferris, J Stephen Dash & Stanley L. Winer, 2018. "Measuring Electoral Competitiveness: With Application to the Indian States," CESifo Working Paper Series 7216, CESifo.
    7. Afridi, Farzana & Dhillon, Amrita & Solan, Eilon, 2016. "Exposing Corruption: Can Electoral Competition Discipline Politicians?," IZA Discussion Papers 10396, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Dutta, Bhaskar & Gupta, Poonam, 2012. "How Indian Voters Respond to Candidates with Criminal Charges: Evidence from the 2009 Lok Sabha Elections," Working Papers 12/109, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.
    9. Dhillon, Amrita & Krishnan, Pramila & Patnam, Manasa & Perroni, Carlo, 2020. "Secession with Natural Resources," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 453, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    10. Thomas Braendle & Alois Stutzer, 2017. "Voters and Representatives: How Should Representatives Be Selected?," CREMA Working Paper Series 2017-05, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    11. Saibal Ghosh, 2018. "An index of legislators’ performance: evidence from Indian parliamentary data," Journal of Social and Economic Development, Springer;Institute for Social and Economic Change, vol. 20(1), pages 129-151, April.
    12. Rikhil R. Bhavnani, 2017. "Do the Effects of Temporary Ethnic Group Quotas Persist? Evidence from India," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 105-123, July.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Prakash, Nishith & Rockmore, Marc & Uppal, Yogesh, 2019. "Do criminally accused politicians affect economic outcomes? Evidence from India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 141(C).
    2. Krisztina Kis-Katos & Günther G. Schulze, 2013. "Corruption in Southeast Asia: a survey of recent research," Asian-Pacific Economic Literature, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government, The Australian National University, vol. 27(1), pages 79-109, May.
    3. Thushyanthan Baskaran & Sonia Bhalotra & Brian Min & Yogesh Uppal, 2018. "Women legislators and economic performance," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2018-47, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    4. 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.
    5. Gratton, Gabriele, 2015. "The sound of silence: Political accountability and libel law," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 266-279.
    6. Bhalotra, Sonia & Clots-Figueras, Irma & Iyer, Lakshmi, 2013. "Path-Breakers: How Does Women’s Political Participation Respond to Electoral Success?," Economics Discussion Papers 9008, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
    7. Baskaran, Thushyanthan & Bhalotra, Sonia R. & Min, Brian & Uppal, Yogesh, 2018. "Women Legislators and Economic Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 11596, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Leandro De Magalhães, 2012. "Incumbency Effects in Brazilian Mayoral Elections: A Regression Discontinuity Design," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 12/284, The Centre for Market and Public Organisation, University of Bristol, UK.
    9. Jan Palguta, 2015. "Political Rent-Seeking in Public Procurement: Evidence from the Entry of Political Challengers at Electoral Thresholds," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp549, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    10. Prat, Andrea & Strömberg, David, 2011. "The Political Economy of Mass Media," CEPR Discussion Papers 8246, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Keefer, Philip & Khemani, Stuti, 2014. "Mass media and public education: The effects of access to community radio in Benin," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 57-72.
    12. Kosec, Katrina & Wantchekon, Leonard, 2020. "Can information improve rural governance and service delivery?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 125(C).
    13. Gustavo J Bobonis & Luis R Cámara Fuertes & Rainer Schwabe, 2011. "The Dynamic Effects of Information on Political Corruption: Theory and Evidence from Puerto Rico," Working Papers tecipa-428, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    14. Gustavo J. Bobonis & Luis R. Cámara Fuertes & Rainer Schwabe, 2016. "Monitoring Corruptible Politicians," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(8), pages 2371-2405, August.
    15. Williams, Andrew, 2015. "A global index of information transparency and accountability," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 804-824.
    16. Björkman, Martina & Reinikka, Ritva & Svensson, Jakob, 2006. "Local Accountability," Seminar Papers 749, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    17. Hernan Galperin & M. Fernanda Viecens, 2017. "Connected for Development? Theory and evidence about the impact of Internet technologies on poverty alleviation," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 35(3), pages 315-336, May.
    18. Leandro De Magalhães & Salomo Hirvonen, 2015. "Multi-Office Incumbency Advantage: Political Careers in Brazil," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 15/662, School of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    19. P. Duraisamy & Bruno Jérôme, 2017. "Who wins in the Indian parliament election: Criminals, wealthy and incumbents?," Journal of Social and Economic Development, Springer;Institute for Social and Economic Change, vol. 19(2), pages 245-262, October.
    20. Stephan Litschig, 2008. "Financing local development: Quasi-experimental evidence from municipalities in Brazil, 1980-1991," Economics Working Papers 1142, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jun 2012.

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:1157. 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: (Jake Dyer). General contact details of provider: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/ .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.