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Other links:

Does Affirmative Action in Politics Hinder Performance? Evidence from India

  • Economics Discussion Papers
  • August 2, 2018
  • Sabyasachi Das,
  • Sabyasachi Das, Abhiroop Mukhopadhyay, Rajas Saroy

We examine how performance of elected representatives, as measured by delivery of public goods, is affected by affirmative action in elections, i.e., imposing quota in elections for one population group. We show both theoretically and empirically, using randomized electoral quotas for a caste group (OBCs) in India, that when group identities are salient and group sizes are asymmetric, affirmative action may in fact increase electoral competition and consequently, improve leader’s performance. The result challenges the notion that equity promotion must necessarily come at the cost of “efficiency.” It further justifies the electoral quota policy in India of targeting the jurisdictions where the group is numerous.

Study at Ashoka

Study at Ashoka