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Clientelism, Contagious Voting and Governance

Abhirup Sarkar

Economica, 2018, vol. 85, issue 339, 518-531

Abstract: This paper explains inferior quality of governance in less affluent countries in terms of a patron–client relationship between political parties and a large section of voters. The client voters resort to strategic voting, which is shown to be contagious, leading to suboptimal effort choice by the incumbent government and a higher probability for the incumbent to remain in power. The possibility of competition between the incumbent and the opposition, in terms of expenditure on political propaganda, actually helps the incumbent and reinforces these results.

Date: 2018
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