Tuesday, March 8, 2016

9 March 2016: Do Criminally Accused Politicians Affect Economic Outcomes? Evidence from India

Nishith Prakash
University of Connecticut

We study the causal impact of electing criminally accused politicians to state legislative assemblies in India on the subsequent economic performance of their constituencies. Using data on the criminal background of candidates running for state assembly elections and a constituency-level measure of economic activity proxied by intensity of night lights, we employ a regression discontinuity design that controls for unobserved heterogeneity across constituencies and find 22-percentage point lower economic activity arising from the election of a criminally accused politician. These effects are driven by serious, financial and the number of criminal charges and are concentrated in the less developed and more corrupt Indian states. Similar findings emerge for the provision of public goods using data on Indias major rural roads construction program.

Date: March 9, 2016
Time: 03:30 P.M.

Auditorium Hall
Indian Statistical Institute Delhi Centre,
7, S. J. S. Sansanwal Marg,
New Delhi-110016 (INDIA)


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