Governance

Power to the people: The impact of political report cards in India

  • Blog Post Date 27 May, 2019
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Abhijit Banerjee

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

banerjee@mit.edu

How do Indian voters react to information on the qualifications and performance of politicians?

This podcast has been reposted with permission from VoxDev: https://voxdev.org/topic/institutions-political-economy/candidate-information-and-voter-behaviour-delhi


 

In the run-up to 2011 elections in Delhi, India, residents in a random sample of slums received newspapers containing report cards on politicians. The information was obtained under India’s disclosure laws. The cards presented information on the performance of the incumbent and the qualifications of the two main challengers. Treatment slums saw higher turnout, reduced vote buying, and a higher vote share for better performing and more qualified candidates. Voters assessed whether candidates catered to their interests and compared their performance. Social media can undermine or dilute access to credible information among voters.

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