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Political Selection and the Quality ofGovernment: Evidence from South India

  • Timothy Besley
  • Rohini Pande
  • Vijayendra Rao

This paper uses household data from India to examine the economic and socialstatus of village politicians, and how individual and village characteristics a®ectpolitician behavior while in o±ce. Education increases the chances of selectionto public o±ce and reduces the odds that a politician uses political poweropportunistically. In contrast, land ownership and political connections enableselection but do not a®ect politician opportunism. At the village level, changesin the identity of the politically dominant group alters the group allocation ofresources but not politician opportunism. Improved information °ows in thevillage, however, reduce opportunism and improve resource allocation.

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Paper provided by Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE in its series STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers with number 44.

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Date of creation: Aug 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cep:stidep:44
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  1. Caselli, Francesco & Morelli, Massimo, 2000. "Bad Politicians," CEPR Discussion Papers 2402, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  3. Gehlbach, Scott & Sonin, Konstantin, 2004. "Businessman Candidates: Special-Interest Politics in Weakly Institutionalized Environments," CEPR Discussion Papers 4822, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  7. Panu Poutvaara & Tuomas Takalo, 2004. "Candidate Quality," Public Economics 0406009, EconWPA.
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  9. Milligan, Kevin & Moretti, Enrico & Oreopoulos, Philip, 2004. "Does education improve citizenship? Evidence from the United States and the United Kingdom," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1667-1695, August.
  10. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Government," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1847, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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  12. Timothy Besley & Rohini Pande & Vijayendra Rao, 2005. "Participatory Democracy in Action: Survey Evidence from South India," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 648-657, 04/05.
  13. Dee, Thomas S., 2004. "Are there civic returns to education?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1697-1720, August.
  14. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:112:y:1997:i:1:p:85-114 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Raghabendra Chattopadhyay & Esther Duflo, 2001. "Women as Policy Makers: Evidence from a India-Wide Randomized Policy Experiment," NBER Working Papers 8615, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinksi, 1995. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," Department of Economics Working Papers 1995-01, McMaster University.
  17. Faguet, Jean-Paul, 2001. "Does decentralization increase responsiveness to local needs? - evidence from Bolivia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2516, The World Bank.
  18. Robert Barro, 1973. "The control of politicians: An economic model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 19-42, March.
  19. Coate, Stephen & Morris, Stephen, 1995. "On the Form of Transfers in Special Interests," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1210-35, December.
  20. Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, . ""An Economic Model of Representative Democracy''," CARESS Working Papres 95-02, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  21. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:119:y:2004:i:3:p:807-859 is not listed on IDEAS
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