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

  • Richard Damania
  • Arnab Gupta
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    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.

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    File URL: http://repec.org/esAUSM04/up.14166.1077668322.pdf
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    Paper provided by Econometric Society in its series Econometric Society 2004 Australasian Meetings with number 147.

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    Date of creation: 11 Aug 2004
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    Handle: RePEc:ecm:ausm04:147
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    1. Per G. Fredriksson & Eric Neumayer & Richard Damania & Scott Gates, 2005. "Environmentalism, democracy, and pollution control," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 630, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. 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.
    3. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-50, September.
    4. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1996. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 265-86, April.
    5. Granger, C. W. J. & Newbold, P., 1974. "Spurious regressions in econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 111-120, July.
    6. Bhargava, Alok & Jamison, Dean T. & Lau, Lawrence J. & Murray, Christopher J. L., 2001. "Modeling the effects of health on economic growth," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 423-440, May.
    7. 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.
    8. Barro, Robert J, 2000. " Inequality and Growth in a Panel of Countries," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-32, March.
    9. Bernheim, B Douglas & Whinston, Michael D, 1986. "Menu Auctions, Resource Allocation, and Economic Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(1), pages 1-31, February.
    10. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2002. "Political Economics: Explaining Economic Policy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661314, June.
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