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Do Criminally Accused Politicians Affect Economic Outcomes? Evidence from India

Nishith Prakash (), Marc Rockmore () and Yogesh Uppal ()
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Nishith Prakash: University of Connecticut
Yogesh Uppal: Youngstown State University

No dp-310, Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series from Boston University - Department of Economics

Abstract: 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-time lights, we employ a regression discontinuity design that controls for unobserved heterogeneity across constituencies and find 22-percentage point lower yearly growth in the intensity of night-time lights arising from the election of a criminally accused politician. These effects are driven by serious, financial and the number of criminal charges and appear to be concentrated in the less developed and more corrupt Indian states. Similar findings emerge for the provision of public goods using data on India’s major rural roads construction program.

Keywords: Criminal Accusations; Politicians; Night-time Lights; Regression Discontinuity; India (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 D73 O40 O12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017-03
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http://www.bu.edu/econ/files/2019/05/Criminally-Ac ... ights-March-2017.pdf

Related works:
Working Paper: Do Criminally Accused Politicians Affect Economic Outcomes? Evidence from India (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Do Criminally Accused Politicians Affect Economic Outcomes? Evidence from India (2014) Downloads
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