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The Disadvantaged Incumbents: Estimating Incumbency Effects in Indian State Legislatures

  • Uppal, Yogesh

This paper estimates the effect of a candidate’s incumbency status on his or her chances of winning using a large dataset on state legislative elections in India during 1975-2003. I use an innovative research design, called Regression Discontinuity Design (RDD), that provides unbiased estimate of the effect due to incumbency by comparing the candidates in closely fought elections, and find that incumbency has a significant negative effect on the fortunes of incumbent candidates in India and the incumbency effect has decreased further in the last decade. Also, the variation in the incumbency effects across Indian states depends on the differences in levels of public good provision such as the health facilities, rates of employment and poverty, and state per capita income.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 8515.

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Date of creation: 15 Dec 2007
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:8515
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  1. 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.
  2. David P. Baron, 1989. "Service-Induced Campaign Contributions and the Electoral Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(1), pages 45-72.
  3. Pranab Bardhan & Dilip Mookherjee, 2000. "Corruption and Decentralization of Infrastructure Delivery in Developing Countries," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 104, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  4. Bardhan, Pranab & Mookherjee, Dilip, 2005. "Decentralizing antipoverty program delivery in developing countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(4), pages 675-704, April.
  5. Banerjee, Abhijit & Somanathan, Rohini, 2007. "The political economy of public goods: Some evidence from India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 287-314, March.
  6. Lee, David S., 2008. "Randomized experiments from non-random selection in U.S. House elections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 675-697, February.
  7. Katz, Jonathan N., 1997. "A Statistical Model for Multiparty Electoral Data," Working Papers 1005, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  8. Dilip Mookherjee & Pranab K. Bardhan, 2000. "Capture and Governance at Local and National Levels," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 135-139, May.
  9. Bernhardt, M. Daniel & Ingerman, Daniel E., 1985. "Candidate reputations and the `incumbency effect'," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 47-67, June.
  10. Hahn, Jinyong & Todd, Petra & Van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2001. "Identification and Estimation of Treatment Effects with a Regression-Discontinuity Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 201-09, January.
  11. Cox, Gary W. & Katz, Jonathan N., 1995. "Why Did The Incumbency Advantage In U.S. House Elections Grow?," Working Papers 939, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
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