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Clientelism in Indian Villages

Siwan Anderson, Patrick Francois () and Ashok Kotwal

American Economic Review, 2015, vol. 105, issue 6, 1780-1816

Abstract: We study the operation of local governments (Panchayats) in rural Maharashtra, India, using a survey that we designed for this end. Elections are freely contested, fairly tallied, highly participatory, non-coerced, and lead to appointment of representative politicians. However, beneath this veneer of ideal democracy we find evidence of deeply ingrained clientelist vote-trading structures maintained through extra-political means. Elite minorities undermine policies that would redistribute income toward the majority poor. We explore the means by which elites use their dominance of land ownership and traditional social superiority to achieve political control in light of successful majoritarian institutional reforms. (JEL D72, H23, I38, J15, O15, O17, O18)

JEL-codes: D72 H23 I38 J15 O15 O17 O18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20130623
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