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India: Election Outcomes and Economic Performance

  • Poonam Gupta

    (NIPFP, India)

  • Arvind Panagariya

    (Columbia University)

In this paper we provide the first analysis of the relationship of growth to election outcomes in India. Using a comprehensive data set consisting of all candidates contesting the election, we also provide the first systematic quantitative analysis of the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. Our key result is that superior growth performance at the level of the state gives a definite advantage to the candidates of the state incumbent party in the constituencies of that state. Conversely, poor growth performance of a state is associated with poor electoral performance by the candidates of the state incumbent party in the constituencies of that state. We offer two additional results: personal characteristics such as education and wealth have at most a small impact on election outcomes; and, at least in the 2009 election, incumbency at all levels contributed positively to election prospects of a candidate.

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File URL: http://indianeconomy.columbia.edu/sites/default/files/working_papers/wp_2011-4.pdf
File Function: First version, 2011
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University in its series Working Papers with number 9999.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2011
Date of revision: Apr 2011
Handle: RePEc:ecq:wpaper:9999
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Web page: http://indianeconomy.columbia.edu/

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  1. Yogesh Uppal, 2009. "The disadvantaged incumbents: estimating incumbency effects in Indian state legislatures," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 138(1), pages 9-27, January.
  2. Steven D. Levitt & James M. Poterba, 1994. "Congressional Distributive Politics and State Economic Performance," NBER Working Papers 4721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 1995. "Does Electoral Accountability Affect Economic Policy Choices? Evidence from Gubernatorial Term Limits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 769-798.
  4. Kenneth Rogoff & Anne Sibert, 1988. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(1), pages 1-16.
  5. Alesina, A. & Rosenthal, H., 1989. "Moderating Elections," Working papers 537, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. David S. Lee, 2001. "The Electoral Advantage to Incumbency and Voters' Valuation of Politicians' Experience: A Regression Discontinuity Analysis of Elections to the U.S..," NBER Working Papers 8441, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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