Tuesday, November 27, 2012

How Indian Voters Respond to Candidates with Criminal Charges: Evidence from the 2009 Lok Sabha Elections

NIPFP Working Paper 109

Bhaskar Dutta and Poonam Gupta
October 2012


This paper examines the response of voters to candidates who have reported that they have criminal charges against them, within the framework of a simple analytical model which assumes that criminal charges give rise to some stigma amongst the electorate, and result in a negative effect on vote shares. Campaigning, the cost of which is borne from candidates’ wealth, helps a candidate to increase his or her expected vote share by winning over the “marginal” voter. A criminal candidate gets an additional benefit since he can use the campaigning to convince voters of his innocence, and so reduce the negative effects of the stigma associated with criminal charges. We test the implications of the model using data for the 2009 Lok Sabha elections in India, and find support for all the implications of the model. Our empirical results show that voters do penalise candidates with criminal charges; however, this negative effect is reduced if there are other candidates in the constituency with criminal charges; besides, the vote shares are positively related to candidate wealth, with the marginal effect being higher for the candidates with criminal charges.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Aadhaar

National Institute of Public Finance and Policy
November 2012


This study estimates the costs and benefits of Aadhaar. We find that substantial benefits would accrue to the government by integrating Aadhaar with schemes such as PDS, MNREGS, fertiliser and LPG subsidies, as well as housing, education and health programmes. The benefits arise from the reduction in leakages that occur due to identification and authentication issues. Our analysis takes into account the costs of developing and maintaining Aadhaar, and of integrating Aadhaar with the schemes over the next ten years. Even after taking all costs into account, and making modest assumptions about leakages, of about 7-12 percent of the value of the transfer/subsidy, we find that the Aadhaar project would yield an internal rate of return in real terms of 52.85 percent to the government.