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Political Competition, Welfare Outcomes and Expenditures on Human Development: The Experience of a Democracy

Author

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  • Richard Damania
  • Arnab Gupta

Abstract

There is a growing literature on the effect of electoral competition and democratic participation on issues such as corruption and government policy. The theoretical and empirical literature suggests that electoral competition has a beneficial impact on policies. This paper studies the effects of political competition and democratic participation on welfare outcomes. We develop a model to assess the effects of electoral competition on human developmental outcomes and empirically test the key predictions using data on infant mortality rates (IMR) in India. The empirical results provide strong support for the theoretical conjectures, which suggest that high electoral competition and high citizen participation in elections can explain much of the variation in IMR across different states in a democratic country like India.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Damania & Arnab Gupta, 2004. "Political Competition, Welfare Outcomes and Expenditures on Human Development: The Experience of a Democracy," Econometric Society 2004 Australasian Meetings 147, Econometric Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:ausm04:147
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-850, September.
    2. Alok Bhargava & Dean T. Jamison & Lawrence J. Lau & Christopher J. L. Murray, 2006. "Modeling the effects of health on economic growth," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Econometrics, Statistics And Computational Approaches In Food And Health Sciences, chapter 20, pages 269-286 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    3. Deacon, Robert, 2003. "Dictatorship, Democracy, and the Provision of Public Goods," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt9h54w76c, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
    4. John K. Wilson & Richard Damania, 2003. "Corruption, Political Competition and Environmental Policy," School of Economics Working Papers 2003-09, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
    5. B. Douglas Bernheim & Michael D. Whinston, 1986. "Menu Auctions, Resource Allocation, and Economic Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(1), pages 1-31.
    6. Fredriksson, Per G. & Neumayer, Eric & Damania, Richard & Gates, Scott, 2005. "Environmentalism, democracy, and pollution control," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 343-365, March.
    7. Barro, Robert J, 2000. "Inequality and Growth in a Panel of Countries," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-32, March.
    8. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2002. "Political Economics: Explaining Economic Policy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661314, January.
    9. repec:cup:apsrev:v:72:y:1978:i:04:p:1243-1261_15 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Granger, C. W. J. & Newbold, P., 1974. "Spurious regressions in econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 111-120, July.
    11. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1996. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(2), pages 265-286.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    human development; electoral competition;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures

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