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Political Selection and the Quality of Government: 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 - Political Economy and Public Policy Paper Series with number 08.

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Date of creation: Aug 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cep:stipep:08
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  1. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, . "The Quality of Government," Working Paper 19452, Harvard University OpenScholar.
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  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. Gehlbach, Scott & Sonin, Konstantin & Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, 2006. "Businessman Candidates," CEPR Discussion Papers 5985, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  7. 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.
  8. Poutvaara, Panu & Takalo, Tuomas, 2007. "Candidate quality," Munich Reprints in Economics 19785, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  9. Rohini Pande, 2003. "Can Mandated Political Representation Increase Policy Influence for Disadvantaged Minorities? Theory and Evidence from India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1132-1151, September.
  10. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
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  12. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:120:y:2005:i:3:p:835-864 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Thomas S. Dee, 2003. "Are There Civic Returns to Education?," NBER Working Papers 9588, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:119:y:2004:i:3:p:807-859 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, . "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," Penn CARESS Working Papers ecf70d639d700dba5327ab0c8, Penn Economics Department.
  16. 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.
  17. Robert Barro, 1973. "The control of politicians: An economic model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 19-42, March.
  18. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinksi, 1995. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," Department of Economics Working Papers 1995-01, McMaster University.
  19. Faguet, Jean-Paul, 2001. "Does decentralization increase responsiveness to local needs? - evidence from Bolivia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2516, The World Bank.
  20. 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.
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