Clientelism, Contagious Voting and Governance

14 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2018

Date Written: July 2018


This paper explains inferior quality of governance in less affluent countries in terms of a patron–client relationship between political parties and a large section of voters. The client voters resort to strategic voting, which is shown to be contagious, leading to suboptimal effort choice by the incumbent government and a higher probability for the incumbent to remain in power. The possibility of competition between the incumbent and the opposition, in terms of expenditure on political propaganda, actually helps the incumbent and reinforces these results.

Suggested Citation

Sarkar, Abhirup, Clientelism, Contagious Voting and Governance (July 2018). Economica, Vol. 85, Issue 339, pp. 518-531, 2018. Available at SSRN: or

Abhirup Sarkar (Contact Author)

Indian Statistical Institute ( email )

205 B.T. Road Indian Statistical Institute
Economic Research Unit
Kolkata, WA

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