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Political Clientelism and Capture: Theory and Evidence from West Bengal, India

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  • Mookherjee, Dilip
  • Bardhan, Pranab K.

Abstract

We provide a theory of political clientelism, which explains sources and determinants of political clientelism, the relationship between clientelism and elite capture, and their respective consequences for allocation of public services, welfare, and empirical measurement of government accountability in service delivery. Using data from household surveys in rural West Bengal, we argue that the model helps explain observed impacts of political reservations in local governments that are difficult to reconcile with standard models of redistributive politics.

Suggested Citation

  • Mookherjee, Dilip & Bardhan, Pranab K., 2012. "Political Clientelism and Capture: Theory and Evidence from West Bengal, India," WIDER Working Paper Series 097, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  • Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:wp2012-097
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    Cited by:

    1. Gustavo J. Bobonis & Paul Gertler & Marco Gonzalez-Navarro & Simeon Nichter, 2017. "Vulnerability and Clientelism," NBER Working Papers 23589, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Khemani, Stuti, 2015. "Buying votes versus supplying public services: Political incentives to under-invest in pro-poor policies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 84-93.
    3. Sheahan, Megan & Liu, Yanyan & Barrett, Christopher B. & Narayanan, Sudha, 2014. "The political economy of MGNREGS spending in Andhra Pradesh:," IFPRI discussion papers 1371, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. repec:eee:socmed:v:185:y:2017:i:c:p:171-178 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Nishith Prakash & Marc Rockmore & Yogesh Uppal, 2014. "Do Criminally Accused Politicians Affect Economic Outcomes? Evidence from India," HiCN Working Papers 192, Households in Conflict Network.
    6. Bharatee Bhusana, Ferris, J Stephen Dash & Stanley L. Winer, 2018. "Measuring Electoral Competitiveness: With Application to the Indian States," CESifo Working Paper Series 7216, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Muhammad Haseeb & Kate Vyborny, 2016. "Imposing institutions: Evidence from cash transfer reform in Pakistan," CSAE Working Paper Series 2016-36, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    8. Kumar, Santosh & Prakash, Nishith, 2017. "Effect of political decentralization and female leadership on institutional births and child mortality in rural Bihar, India," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 185(C), pages 171-178.
    9. repec:eee:jetheo:v:176:y:2018:i:c:p:232-254 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Anindya Bhattacharya & Anirban Kar & Alita Nandi, 2016. "Local institutional structure and clientelistic access to employment: the case of MGNREGS in three states of India," Working papers 269, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
    11. Cavalcanti, Francisco, 2018. "Voters sometimes provide the wrong incentives. The lesson of the Brazilian drought industry," MPRA Paper 88317, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Pranab Bardhan, 2016. "State and Development: The Need for a Reappraisal of the Current Literature," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(3), pages 862-892, September.
    13. Pranab Bardhan, 2015. "State and Economic Development: The Need for a Reappraisal of the Current Literature," Working Papers id:7060, eSocialSciences.
    14. Gangadharan, Lata & Jain, Tarun & Maitra, Pushkar & Vecci, Joseph, 2016. "Social identity and governance: The behavioral response to female leaders," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 302-325.
    15. Afridi, Farzana, 2017. "Governance and Public Service Delivery in India," IZA Discussion Papers 10856, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    16. Catalina Tejada & Eliana Ferrara & Henrik Kleven & Florian Blum & Oriana Bandiera & Michel Azulai, 2015. "State Effectiveness, Growth, and Development," Working Papers id:6668, eSocialSciences.

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    Keywords

    Local government; Corruption; Political science;

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