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Political Selection and the Quality of Government: Evidence from South India

Author

Listed:
  • Besley, Timothy J.
  • Pande, Rohini
  • Rao, Vijayendra

Abstract

This paper uses household data from India to examine the economic and social status of village politicians, and how individual and village characteristics affect politician behaviour while in office. Education increases the chances of selection to public office and reduces the odds that a politician uses political power opportunistically. In contrast, land ownership and political connections enable selection but do not affect politician opportunism. At the village level, changes in the identity of the politically dominant group alter the group allocation of resources but not politician opportunism. Improved information flows in the village, however, reduce opportunism and improve resource allocation.

Suggested Citation

  • Besley, Timothy J. & Pande, Rohini & Rao, Vijayendra, 2005. "Political Selection and the Quality of Government: Evidence from South India," CEPR Discussion Papers 5201, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5201
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1999. "The Quality of Government," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 222-279, April.
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    12. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 1997. "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 85-114.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    decentralization; India; political economy; public provision of private goods;

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H42 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Private Goods
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O20 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - General

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