Penn Calendar Penn A-Z School of Arts and Sciences University of Pennsylvania

Privileging One's Own? Voting Patterns and Politicized Spending in India

in partnership with the South Asia Center & Penn Comparative Politics Workshop

Francesca R. Jensenius
Professor of Political Science, University of Oslo; Research Professor, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
Thursday, February 10, 2022 - 12:00
A Virtual CASI Seminar via Zoom — 12 noon EST | 10:30pm IST

About the Seminar:
How do politicians manipulate the allocation of public resources? Prof. Jensenius argues that politicians' choices are influenced by the nature of the party that brings them to power. Politicians who belong to mass parties that are closely tied to social groups face strong pressures to allocate resources to their electoral strongholds. Politicians from catch-all parties are not as constrained and tend to allocate more resources to competitive areas. Prof. Jensenius provides evidence for this using an original polling-station level dataset that manually links voting patterns in the 2009 Indian general elections to the characteristics of 224,000 census villages and to project allocations 2009-14 under India's discretionary constituency development scheme (MPLADS). The motivations of the politicians for their distributional choices are explored through a natural experiment created by the delimitation (redistricting) of electoral boundaries in 2008. The findings contribute to her understanding of how public resources are distributed by politicians.

About the Speaker:
Francesca R. Jensenius is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Oslo and Research Professor at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs. She specializes in comparative politics, comparative political economy, and research methods with a regional focus on South Asia. She is the author of Social Justice Through Inclusion: The Consequences of Electoral Quotas in India (OUP 2017).