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Can political reservations affect political equilibria in the long-term? Evidence from local elections in rural India

  • Nagarajan, Hari K.
  • Deininger, Klaus
  • Jin, Songqing

While many studies explored impacts of political quotas for females, often with ambiguous results, underlying mechanisms and long-term effects have received relatively little attention. Nation-wide data from India spanning a 15-year period allow us to explore how reservations affect leader qualifications, service delivery, political participation, local accountability, and individuals' willingness to contribute to public goods. Although leader quality declines and impacts on service quality are ambiguous, gender quotas are shown to increase political processes and participation, the willingness to contribute to public goods, and perceived ability to hold leaders to account. Key effects persist beyond the reserved period and impacts on females often materialize only with a lag.

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Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics in its series Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 with number 59.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:gdec11:59
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