Parochial Politics: Ethnic Preferences and Politician Corruption

49 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2007

See all articles by Abhijit V. Banerjee

Abhijit V. Banerjee

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics

Rohini Pande

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 2007

Abstract

This paper examines how increased voter ethnicization, defined as a greater preference for the party representing one's ethnic group, affects politician quality. If politics is characterized by incomplete policy commitment, then ethnicization reduces average winner quality for the pro-majority party with the opposite true for the minority party. The effect increases with greater numerical dominance of the majority (and so social homogeneity). Empirical evidence from a survey on politician corruption that we conducted in North India is remarkably consistent with our theoretical predictions.

Keywords: Economics - Microeconomics, Electoral Politics

Suggested Citation

Banerjee, Abhijit V. and Pande, Rohini, Parochial Politics: Ethnic Preferences and Politician Corruption (June 2007). KSG Working Paper No. RWP07-031. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=976548 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.976548

Abhijit V. Banerjee

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics ( email )

50 Memorial Drive
Room E52-252D
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-253-8855 (Phone)
617-253-6915 (Fax)

Rohini Pande (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-384-5267 (Phone)
617-495-2575 (Fax)

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