Is Partisan Alignment Electorally Rewarding? Evidence from Village Council Elections in India

43 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2016

See all articles by Subhasish Dey

Subhasish Dey

University of Manchester

Kunal Sen

University of East Anglia

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Abstract

Do ruling parties positively discriminate in favour of their own constituencies in allocating public resources? If they do, do they gain electorally in engaging in such a practice? This paper tests whether partisan alignment exists in the allocation of funds for India's largest social protection programme, the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) in the state of West Bengal in India, and whether incumbent local governments (village councils) gain electorally in the practice of partisan alignment. Using a quasi-experimental research design, we find that the village council level ruling-party spends significantly more in its own party constituencies as compared to opponent constituencies. We also find strong evidence of electoral rewards in the practice of partisan alignment. However, we find that the results differ between the two main ruling political parties at the village council level in the state.

Keywords: National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, partisan alignment feedback effect, fuzzy regression discontinuity design

JEL Classification: H53, I38

Suggested Citation

Dey, Subhasish and Sen, Kunal, Is Partisan Alignment Electorally Rewarding? Evidence from Village Council Elections in India. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2800491 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2800491

Subhasish Dey (Contact Author)

University of Manchester ( email )

Kunal Sen

University of East Anglia ( email )

Norwich Research Park
Norwich, Norfolk NR4 7TJ
United Kingdom

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