Institutional Performance and Vote Buying in India

Oliver Heath, Louise Tillin

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Inefficient and corrupt institutions provide an incentive for citizens to focus on short causal chains, which prize instant benefits from direct, clientelist exchanges over the promise of uncertain and distant programmatic rewards. Drawing on a tightly controlled comparison arising from the bifurcation of a state within the Indian federal system into two units that have demonstrated marked differences in institutional development post division, and a survey administered across the new state boundary, we show that citizens are more responsive to small inducements in weak institutional settings where the delivery of basic goods by the state is less certain, but that these institutional effects weaken as the size of the inducement increases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90–110
Number of pages21
JournalStudies in Comparative International Development
Issue number1
Early online date7 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018

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