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Do Criminal Representatives Hinder or Improve Constituency Outcomes? Evidence from India

Author

Listed:
  • Nishith Prakash

    (University of Connecticut)

  • Marc Rockmore

    (Clark University)

Abstract

The recent increase in the number of criminally accused politicians elected to state assemblies has caused much furor in India. Despite the potentially important consequences and the widely divergent views, the implications of their elections to state legislative assemblies on constituency-level economic performance are unknown. Using a regression discontinuity design and data on the intensity of night lights in satellite imagery at the constituency level, our results suggest that the cost of electing criminally accused politicians on measures of economic activity is quite large. Using estimates of the elasticity of GDP to light, we find that the election of criminally accused candidates lead to roughly 5 percent lower GDP growth per year on average. These estimated costs increase for candidates with serious accusations, multiple accusations, and accusations regarding financial crimes. Our result survives variety of robustness checks.

Suggested Citation

  • Nishith Prakash & Marc Rockmore, 2014. "Do Criminal Representatives Hinder or Improve Constituency Outcomes? Evidence from India," Working papers 2014-20, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2014-20
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Dhillon, Amrita & Krishnan, Pramila & Patnam, Manasa & Perroni, Carlo, 2016. "Electoral Accountability and the Natural Resource Curse: Theory and Evidence from India," CEPR Discussion Papers 11377, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Kai Gehring & T. Florian Kauffeldt & Krishna Chaitanya Vadlamannati, 2015. "Crime, Incentives and Political Effort: A Model and Empirical Application for India," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 170, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    3. Dhillon, Amrita & Krishnan, Pramila & Patnam, Manasa & Perroni, Carlo, 2016. "The Natural Resource Curse Revisited:Theory and Evidence from India," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 268, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Growth; Indian Politicians; Information disclosure; Regression Discontinuity; India;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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