Mandated Political Representation and Redistribution

15 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2018

Date Written: April 2018


Mandated political representation for minorities involves earmarking certain electoral districts where only minority‐group candidates are permitted to contest. This paper builds a political‐economy model to analyse the effect of such affirmative action on redistribution in equilibrium. The model predicts that in situations where the minority is economically disadvantaged and where voters exhibit an in‐group bias, such a quota can reduce transfers to poorer groups. This suggests that the gains to the minority group from having such quotas are unevenly distributed. Redistribution in reserved districts leads to a rise in within‐group inequality for the minorities.

Suggested Citation

Mitra, Anirban, Mandated Political Representation and Redistribution (April 2018). Economica, Vol. 85, Issue 338, pp. 266-280, 2018. Available at SSRN: or

Anirban Mitra (Contact Author)

University of Kent ( email )

United Kingdom

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