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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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File URL: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/dps/de/DEDPS44.pdf
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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and Related Disciplines, LSE in its series STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers with number 44.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
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Handle: RePEc:cep:stidep:44
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/default.asp

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  1. Scott Gehlbach & Konstantin Sonin, 2004. "Businessman Candidates: Special-Interest Politics in Weakly Institutionalized Environments," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp733, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  2. Francesco Caselli & Massimo Morelli, 2001. "Bad Politicians," NBER Working Papers 8532, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, . "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," Penn CARESS Working Papers ecf70d639d700dba5327ab0c8, Penn Economics Department.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Robert Barro, 1973. "The control of politicians: An economic model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 19-42, March.
  7. Panu Poutvaara & Tuomas Takalo, 2007. "Candidate quality," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 7-27, February.
  8. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinksi, 1995. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," Department of Economics Working Papers 1995-01, McMaster University.
  9. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Government," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1847, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  10. Gehlbach, Scott & Sonin, Konstantin & Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, 2006. "Businessman Candidates," CEPR Discussion Papers 5985, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Faguet, Jean-Paul, 2001. "Does decentralization increase responsiveness to local needs? - evidence from Bolivia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2516, The World Bank.
  12. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
  13. Esther Duflo & Petia Topalova, 2004. "Unappreciated service: Performance, perceptions, and women leaders in india," Framed Field Experiments 00233, The Field Experiments Website.
  14. Thomas S. Dee, 2003. "Are There Civic Returns to Education?," NBER Working Papers 9588, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2005. "Do Leaders Matter? National Leadership and Growth Since World War II," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(3), pages 835-864, August.
  17. David S. Lee & Enrico Moretti & Matthew J. Butler, 2004. "Do Voters Affect Or Elect Policies? Evidence from the U. S. House," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(3), pages 807-859, August.
  18. 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.
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