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Parochial Politics: Ethnic Preferences and Politician Corruption

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  • Banerjee, Abhijit
  • Pande, Rohini

Abstract

This paper examines how increased voter ethnicization, defined as a greater preference for the party representing one's ethnic group, affects politician quality. If politics is characterized by incomplete policy commitment, then ethnicization reduces average winner quality for the pro-majority party with the opposite true for the minority party. The effect increases with greater numerical dominance of the majority (and so social homogeneity). Empirical evidence from a survey on politician corruption that we conducted in North India is remarkably consistent with our theoretical predictions.

Suggested Citation

  • Banerjee, Abhijit & Pande, Rohini, 2007. "Parochial Politics: Ethnic Preferences and Politician Corruption," CEPR Discussion Papers 6381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6381
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corruption; Ethnic Voting; India;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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