Thursday, March 17, 2011

17 March 2011: Incumbents and Candidates to the Indian National Legislature

Miriam Golden

Utilizing new data on candidate affidavits for India's Fourteenth and Fifteenth
Lok Sabha, the country's lower house of representatives, we study the
conditions that resulted in approximately a quarter of those elected to each
legislature facing or having previously faced criminal charges. We show that
Indian political parties are more likely to select individuals facing such
charges to run as candidates in electoral districts with lower levels of
literacy and when parties face greater electoral uncertainty. Subsidiary
results show that the well-known incumbency disadvantage characterizing Indian
legislative elections stems from the electoral performance of candidates facing
criminal indictment and that providing voters more information about
politicians does not inoculate the political system against the proliferation
of such candidates. Possible interpretations are offered.

Date: March 17, 2011
Time: 12:30 P.M.

Second Floor Conference Room,
The World Bank,
70 Lodi Estate,
New Delhi-110003(INDIA)


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