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Political selection and the quality of government: evidence from south India

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  • Besley, Timothy
  • Pande, Rohini
  • Rao, Vijayendra

Abstract

This paper uses household data from India to examine the economic and social status of village politicians, and how individual and village characteristics a®ect politician behavior while in o±ce. Education increases the chances of selection to public o±ce and reduces the odds that a politician uses political power opportunistically. In contrast, land ownership and political connections enable selection but do not a®ect 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 °ows in the village, however, reduce opportunism and improve resource allocation.

Suggested Citation

  • Besley, Timothy & Pande, Rohini & Rao, Vijayendra, 2005. "Political selection and the quality of government: evidence from south India," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3777, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:3777
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Timothy Besley, 2004. "Joseph Schumpeter Lecture: Paying Politicians: Theory and Evidence," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 193-215, 04/05.
    2. 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.
    3. Panu Poutvaara & Tuomas Takalo, 2007. "Candidate quality," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 14(1), pages 7-27, February.
    4. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1999. "The Quality of Government," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 222-279, April.
    5. 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.
    6. Konstantin Sonin & Scott Gehlbach, 2004. "Businessman Candidates," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 178, Econometric Society.
    7. Dee, Thomas S., 2004. "Are there civic returns to education?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1697-1720, August.
    8. Caselli, Francesco & Morelli, Massimo, 2004. "Bad politicians," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 759-782, March.
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    13. 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.
    14. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinski, 1996. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96.
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    16. 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.
    17. 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.
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    21. 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.
    22. repec:hrv:faseco:30747160 is not listed on IDEAS
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    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

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