IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Political Selection and the Qualilty of Government: Evidence from South India

  • Timothy Besley


    (London School of Economics)

  • Rohini Pande


    (Economic Growth Center, Yale University)

  • Vijayendra Rao


    (World Bank)

This paper uses household data from India to examine the economic and social status of village politicians, and how individual and village characteristics affect politician behavior while in office. Education increases the chances of selection to public office and reduces the odds that a politician uses political power opportunistically. In contrast, land ownership and political connections enable selection but do not affect politician opportunism. At the village level, changes in the identity of the politically dominant group alters the group allocation of resources but not politician opportunism. Improved information flows in the village, however, reduce opportunism and improve resource allocation.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Economic Growth Center, Yale University in its series Working Papers with number 921.

in new window

Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:921
Contact details of provider: Postal:
PO Box 8269, New Haven CT 06520-8269

Phone: (203) 432-3610
Fax: (203) 432-3898
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. Timothy Besley & Rohini Pande & Vijayendra Rao, 2005. "Participatory Democracy in Action: Survey Evidence from South India," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 648-657, 04/05.
  2. Coate, Stephen & Morris, Stephen, 1995. "On the Form of Transfers in Special Interests," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1210-35, December.
  3. Scott Gehlbach & Konstantin Sonin & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2010. "Businessman Candidates," Post-Print halshs-00754432, HAL.
  4. Robert Barro, 1973. "The control of politicians: An economic model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 19-42, March.
  5. Faguet, Jean-Paul, 2001. "Does decentralization increase responsiveness to local needs? - evidence from Bolivia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2516, The World Bank.
  6. Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2005. "Do Leaders Matter? National Leadership and Growth Since World War II," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 835-864.
  7. Panu Poutvaara & Tuomas Takalo, 2003. "Candidate Quality," CESifo Working Paper Series 1106, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 1997. "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 85-114.
  9. Milligan, Kevin & Moretti, Enrico & Oreopoulos, Philip, 2004. "Does education improve citizenship? Evidence from the United States and the United Kingdom," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1667-1695, August.
  10. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, . "The Quality of Government," Working Paper 19452, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  11. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
  12. Rohini Pande, 2003. "Can Mandated Political Representation Increase Policy Influence for Disadvantaged Minorities? Theory and Evidence from India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1132-1151, September.
  13. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinksi, 1995. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," Department of Economics Working Papers 1995-01, McMaster University.
  14. Caselli, Francesco & Morelli, Massimo, 2000. "Bad Politicians," CEPR Discussion Papers 2402, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Esther Duflo & Petia Topalova, 2004. "Unappreciated service: Performance, perceptions, and women leaders in india," Framed Field Experiments 00233, The Field Experiments Website.
  16. Raghabendra Chattopadhyay & Esther Duflo, 2001. "Women as Policy Makers: Evidence from a India-Wide Randomized Policy Experiment," NBER Working Papers 8615, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. David S. Lee & Enrico Moretti & Matthew J. Butler, 2004. "Do Voters Affect or Elect Policies? Evidence from the U. S. House," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(3), pages 807-859.
  18. Thomas S. Dee, 2003. "Are There Civic Returns to Education?," NBER Working Papers 9588, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Scott Gehlbach & Konstantin Sonin, 2004. "Businessman Candidates: Special-Interest Politics in Weakly Institutionalized Environments," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp733, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:921. 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: (Louise Danishevsky)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.