Parochial Politics: Ethnic Preferences and Politician Corruption

Pande, Rohini; Banerjee, Abhijit (2009)


Pande, Rohini, and Abhijit Banerjee. 2009. “Parochial Politics: Ethnic Preferences And Politician Corruption”.
This paper examines how increased voter ethnicization, denied as greater voter preference for the party representing her ethnic group, aects legislator quality. In situations where parties and politicians cannot commit to policies prior to the election, ethnicization reduces average winner quality for the pro-majority party, with the opposite true for the minority party. Overall, the average winner-loser quality gap reduces. These eects increase with greater numerical dominance of the majority and are absent in jurisdictions with equal-sized voter groups. Empirical evidence from a survey on politician corruption in North India is remarkably consistent with our theoretical predictions.