Collage of seminar photos. © UNU-WIDER

Anirban Mitra on cash for votes in India

WIDER Seminar Series

Anirban Mitra of the University of Kent will discuss vote-buying and corporate donation restrictions in India at the seminar on 22 November. 

Cash for Votes: Evidence from India

This paper investigates the prevalence of vote-buying in democratic elections where stringent restrictions on corporate donations to political parties exist. We combine data from state assembly elections in India with household-level consumer expenditure surveys (conducted by NSSO) over the period 2004-11. Exploiting a difference-in-differences methodology, we estimate the effects elections have on the consumption of various household items: food, clothes, education-related, etc. Moreover, there is heterogeneity in such consumption adjustments across households. Our estimates suggest that legal sources of funds are not sufficient for generating such "spikes" in consumption and indicate the role of the hidden economy in politics.

WIDER Seminar Series

The WIDER Seminar Series showcases recent and ongoing work on key topics in development economics. The weekly sessions held in Helsinki are open to local and visiting researchers, policy makers, and others working on development topics. Click here to read more about the WIDER Seminar Series.