London School of Economics EOPP: Economic Organisation and Public Policy Programme LSE
EOPP: Economic Organisation and Public Policy Programme

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

Timothy Besley, Vijayendra Rao, Rohini Pande, August 2005
Paper No' PEPP 08: | Full paper (pdf)
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This paper uses household data from India to examine the economic and social status of village politicians, and how individual and village characteristics aŽect politician behavior while in oące. Education increases the chances of selection to public oące and reduces the odds that a politician uses political power opportunistically. In contrast, land ownership and political connections enable selection but do not aŽect 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.