Loading Events

View All Events »

Weekly Economics Webinar by Raghul S Venkatesh

January 20 @ 1:30 pm - 2:50 pm

  • This event has passed.

Event Details

Title: Identity Politics and Majoritarianism: An Economic Rationale

Speaker: Raghul S Venkatesh, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History, University of Malaga(Spain)

Abstract: Majoritarian identity politics has seen a resurgence in representative democracies. Why do parties engage in identity politics and what are its consequences? We present a model of electoral competition in which parties \emph{i)} capture voter groups based on their identity, and \emph{ii)} compete over an economic policy platform for the support of non-partisan voters. In addition, the party that caters to majoritarian interests makes a costly investment in identity triggers. The investment provides ex-post payoffs to voters who have a preference for identity. When voter preferences over policy platforms are idiosyncratic in nature, greater investment in identity politics \emph{(i)} increases \textit{both} parties’ rents from office; and \emph{(ii)} marginalizes minority voter interests. Further, the majoritarian party substitutes away from policy platforms. This further increases their overall payoffs in equilibrium, and decreases that of the non-majoritarian party. Ex-ante welfare of non-partisans and captured groups are both non-monotonic in the investment in identity. We discuss the implications in the context of episodes of majoritarianism in India, Turkey, Brazil, and the United States.


January 20
1:30 pm - 2:50 pm


Department of Economics


India + Google Map