When Do Legislators Pass On"Pork"? The Determinants of Legislator Utilization of a Constituency Development Fund in India

47 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Philip Keefer

Philip Keefer

Inter-American Development Bank

Stuti Khemani

World Bank; World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Date Written: May 1, 2009

Abstract

The authors examine a unique public spending program that is proliferating across developing countries, the constituency development fund, to investigate when legislators exert more effort on behalf of their constituents. Using data from India, they find that legislator effort is significantly lower in constituencies where voters are more attached to political parties. They are also lower in constituencies that are reserved for members of socially disadvantaged groups (lower castes), specifically in those reserved constituencies that are candidate strongholds. This result is robust to controls for alternate explanations and implies that legislators pass on pork when voters are more attached to political parties or influenced by identity issues. These findings have implications for the evaluation of constituency development funds. They also provide a new answer to a central issue in political economy, the conditions under which legislators seek to"bring home the pork"to constituents, that attaches great importance to the role of political parties.

Keywords: Parliamentary Government, Microfinance, Political Systems and Analysis, Politics and Government, Government Policies

Suggested Citation

Keefer, Philip and Khemani, Stuti, When Do Legislators Pass On"Pork"? The Determinants of Legislator Utilization of a Constituency Development Fund in India (May 1, 2009). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 4929, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1405160

Philip Keefer (Contact Author)

Inter-American Development Bank ( email )

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Stuti Khemani

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/skhemani

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

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