Who Has Voice in a Deliberative Democracy? Evidence from Transcripts of Village Parliaments in South India
The role of deliberation among citizens to determine and forge agreement on policy is often seen as a crucial feature of democratic government. This paper provides the first large-N empirical evidence on the credibility of voice in a deliberative democracy in an non-laboratory setting, using a unique dataset collected from transcripts of deliberation that occurred between January and September 2003 in 127 functioning village parliaments (gram sabhas) in Southern India. We exploit a natural experiment in the arrangement of India's state borders across ethno-linguistic lines that led exogenously to increased caste fragmentation and a reduced degree of consensus on public goods priorities. We then examine the patterns of deliberation. We reject the presence of pure cheap talk in both heterogeneous and homogeneous villages. Instead, we show that in caste- fragmented South Indian villages, where there is less village-wide agreement on the relative importance of different public goods, the probability of an individual's highest priority being discussed increases as the household become more credible: its preferences approach the pivotal agent in a pure representative democracy, the median household. These effects are lower in ethnically homogeneous villages where there is greater consensus on the prioritization of public goods. Taken together, our results suggest that India's village parliaments, rather than being mere talking shops or being entirely captured by elites, seem instead to be both democratically representative and to be assigning roles to credible agents in their deliberative processes.
|Date of creation:||Jun 2012|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: (650) 723-2146
Web page: http://gsbapps.stanford.edu/researchpapers/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Keith Krehbiel, 2004. "Legislative Organization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 113-128, Winter.
- Timothy Besley & Rohini Pande & Lupin Rahman & Vijayendra Rao, 2004. "The Politics of Public Good Provision: Evidence from Indian Local Governments," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 416-426, 04/05.
- Mansuri, Ghazala & Rao, Vijayendra, 2004.
"Community-based (and driven) development : A critical review,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
3209, The World Bank.
- Ghazala Mansuri, 2004. "Community-Based and -Driven Development: A Critical Review," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 19(1), pages 1-39.
- Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Scholarly Articles 4553005, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Gerardi, Dino & Yariv, Leeat, 2007. "Deliberative voting," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 134(1), pages 317-338, May.
- Esther Duflo & Raghabendra Chattopadhyay, 2004.
"Women as policy makers: Evidence from a randomized policy experiment in india,"
Framed Field Experiments
00224, The Field Experiments Website.
- Raghabendra Chattopadhyay & Esther Duflo, 2004. "Women as Policy Makers: Evidence from a Randomized Policy Experiment in India," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(5), pages 1409-1443, 09.
- Ghazala Mansuri & Vijayendra Rao, 2013. "Localizing Development : Does Participation Work?," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 11859.
- Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982.
"Strategic Information Transmission,"
Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-51, November.
- Timothy Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1997.
"Voting Behavior and Information Aggregation in Elections with Private Information,"
Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1029-1058, September.
- Timothy Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1994. "Voting Behavior and Information Aggregation in Elections with Private Information," Discussion Papers 1117, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Timothy Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1997. "Voting Behavior and Information Aggregation in Elections With Private Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1560, David K. Levine.
- Abhijit Banerjee & Lakshmi Iyer & Rohini Somanathan, 2005. "History, Social Divisions, and Public Goods in Rural India," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 639-647, 04/05.
- Bardhan Pranab K. & Mookherjee Dilip & Parra Torrado Monica, 2010. "Impact of Political Reservations in West Bengal Local Governments on Anti-Poverty Targeting," Journal of Globalization and Development, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-38, January.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecl:stabus:2103. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.