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Parochial Politics: Ethnic Preferences and Politician Corruption

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  • Banerjee, Abhijit V.

    (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

  • Pande, Rohini

    (Harvard U)

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 V. & Pande, Rohini, 2007. "Parochial Politics: Ethnic Preferences and Politician Corruption," Working Paper Series rwp07-031, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp07-031
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    Cited by:

    1. Kaivan Munshi & Mark Rosenzweig, 2008. "The Efficacy of Parochial Politics: Caste, Commitment, and Competence in Indian Local Governments," NBER Working Papers 14335, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Kodila-Tedika, Oasis & Asongu, Simplice, 2015. "Tribalism and Financial Development," MPRA Paper 67855, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. repec:bla:obuest:v:79:y:2017:i:3:p:291-318 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Kaivan Munshi & Mark Rosenzweig, 2013. "Networks, Commitment, and Competence: Caste in Indian Local Politics," NBER Working Papers 19197, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Das, Sabyasachi & Mukhopadhyay, Abhiroop & Saroy, Rajas, 2017. "Efficiency Consequences of Affirmative Action in Politics: Evidence from India," IZA Discussion Papers 11093, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Isaksson, Ann-Sofie & Bigsten, Arne, 2014. "Clientelism and ethnic divisions," Working Papers in Economics 598, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    7. Andrew Beath & Fotini Christia & Georgy Egorov & Ruben Enikolopov, 2016. "Electoral Rules and Political Selection: Theory and Evidence from a Field Experiment in Afghanistan," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(3), pages 932-968.
    8. Sitakanta Panda, 2012. "Legislator characteristics and legislative outcomes in India," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(4), pages 3401-3416.
    9. Gerard Padro i Miquel & Nancy Qian & Yang Yao, 2012. "Social Fragmentation, Public Goods and Elections: Evidence from China," NBER Working Papers 18633, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Ann-Sofie Isaksson, 2015. "Corruption Along Ethnic Lines: A Study of Individual Corruption Experiences in 17 African Countries," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(1), pages 80-92, January.
    11. Monojit Chatterji & Sushil Mohan & Sayantan Ghosh Dastidar, 2015. "Determinants of public education expenditure: evidence from Indian states," International Journal of Education Economics and Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 6(1), pages 1-19.
    12. repec:ecl:stabus:2099 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Sitakanta Panda, 2015. "Political Connections and Elite Capture in a Poverty Alleviation Programme in India," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(1), pages 50-65, January.
    14. Andrew Beath & Fotini Christia & Georgy Egorov & Ruben Enikolopov, 2014. "Electoral Rules and the Quality of Politicians: Theory and Evidence from a Field Experiment in Afghanistan," NBER Working Papers 20082, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Mitra, Anirban, 2015. "Mandated Political Representation and Redistribution," MPRA Paper 67004, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Dube, Partha Pratim & Gangopadhyay, Partha, 2015. "MGNREGA policies and deterrence of development in rural India: An analytical approach," International Journal of Development and Conflict, Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, vol. 5(2), pages 101-113.
    17. Awaworyi Churchill, Sefa & Nuhu, Ahmed Salim, 2015. "Ethnic Diversity and Educational Attainment," EconStor Conference Papers 125567, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
    18. Marie-Anne Valfort, 2007. "Containing ethnic conflicts through ethical voting? Evidence from Ethiopia," HiCN Working Papers 35, Households in Conflict Network.
    19. Andrzej Kwiatkowski, 2013. "Education investment effects of affirmative action policy. Contest game argument," Dundee Discussion Papers in Economics 279, Economic Studies, University of Dundee.
    20. William Easterly, 2009. "Can the West Save Africa?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 373-447, June.
    21. Federico Revelli, 2016. "Tax limits and local elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 166(1), pages 53-68, January.
    22. Siwan Anderson & Patrick Francois & Ashok Kotwal, 2012. "One Kind of Democracy," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 12/292, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    23. Catalina Tejada & Eliana Ferrara & Henrik Kleven & Florian Blum & Oriana Bandiera & Michel Azulai, 2015. "State Effectiveness, Growth, and Development," Working Papers id:6668, eSocialSciences.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

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

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