This paper uses household data from India to examine the economic and social status of village politicians, and how individual and village characteristics a®ect politician behavior while in o±ce. Education increases the chances of selection to public o±ce and reduces the odds that a politician uses political power opportunistically. In contrast, land ownership and political connections enable selection but do not a®ect 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 °ows in the village, however, reduce opportunism and improve resource allocation.