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Quid Pro Quo: Builders, Politicians, and Election Finance in India- Working Paper 276

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  • Devesh Kapur, Milan Vaishnav

Abstract

In developing countries where elections are costly and accountability mechanisms weak, politicians often turn to illicit means of financing campaigns. This paper examines one such channel of illicit campaign finance: India’s real estate sector. Politicians and builders allegedly engage in a quid pro quo, whereby the former park their illicit assets with the latter, and the latter rely on the former for favorable dispensation. At election time, however, builders need to re-route funds to politicians as a form of indirect election finance. One observable implication is that the demand for cement, the indispensible raw material used in the sector, should contract during elections since builders need to inject funds into campaigns. Using a novel monthly-level data set, we demonstrate that cement consumption does exhibit a political business cycle consistent with our hypothesis. Additional tests provide confidence in the robustness and interpretation of our findings.

Suggested Citation

  • Devesh Kapur, Milan Vaishnav, 2011. " Quid Pro Quo: Builders, Politicians, and Election Finance in India- Working Paper 276," Working Papers 276, Center for Global Development.
  • Handle: RePEc:cgd:wpaper:276
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    File URL: http://www.cgdev.org/files/1425795_file_Kapur_Vaishnav_election_finance_India_FINAL.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Akhmed Akhmedov & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2004. "Opportunistic Political Cycles: Test in a Young Democracy Setting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1301-1338.
    2. repec:hrv:faseco:30747190 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Yogesh Uppal, 2009. "The disadvantaged incumbents: estimating incumbency effects in Indian state legislatures," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 138(1), pages 9-27, January.
    4. Deniz Igan & Prachi Mishra & Thierry Tressel, 2012. "A Fistful of Dollars: Lobbying and the Financial Crisis," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(1), pages 195-230.
    5. Im, Kyung So & Pesaran, M. Hashem & Shin, Yongcheol, 2003. "Testing for unit roots in heterogeneous panels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 53-74, July.
    6. Sandip Sukhtankar, 2012. "Sweetening the Deal? Political Connections and Sugar Mills in India," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 43-63, July.
    7. Jayachandran, Seema, 2006. "The Jeffords Effect," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(2), pages 397-425, October.
    8. Khemani, Stuti, 2004. "Political cycles in a developing economy: effect of elections in the Indian States," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 125-154, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    elections; election finance; corruption; political economy; India;

    JEL classification:

    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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