Political Selection and the Quality of Government: Evidence from South India

43 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2005

See all articles by Timothy J. Besley

Timothy J. Besley

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Rohini Pande

Yale University - Economic Growth Center

Vijayendra Rao

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Multiple version iconThere are 4 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 2005

Abstract

This paper uses household data from India to examine the economic and social status of village politicians, and how individual and village characteristics affect politician behavior while in office. Education increases the chances of selection to public office and reduces the odds that a politician uses political power opportunistically. In contrast, land ownership and political connections enable selection but do not affect politician opportunism. At the village level, changes in the identity of the politically dominant group alters the group allocation of resources but not politician opportunism. Improved information flows in the village, however, reduce opportunism and improve resource allocation.

Keywords: Development, Political Economy, Public Provision of Private Goods, Decentralization

JEL Classification: O12, H11, H42, O20

Suggested Citation

Besley, Timothy J. and Pande, Rohini and Rao, Vijayendra, Political Selection and the Quality of Government: Evidence from South India (July 2005). Yale University Economic Growth Center Discussion Paper No. 921. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=777507

Timothy J. Besley

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economics ( email )

Houghton Street
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+44 20 7955 6702 (Phone)
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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Rohini Pande (Contact Author)

Yale University - Economic Growth Center ( email )

Box 208269
New Haven, CT 06520-8269
United States

Vijayendra Rao

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

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-458-8034 (Phone)
202-522-1153 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://vijayendrarao.org

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