Article | Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization | Forthcoming

Religion, Politician Identity and Development Outcomes: Evidence from India

by Sonia Bhalotra, Irma Clots-Figueras, Guilhem Cassan and Lakshmi Iyer

Abstract

This paper investigates whether the religious identity of state legislators in India influences development outcomes, both for citizens of their religious group and for the population as a whole. Using an instrumental variables approach derived from a regression discontinuity, we find that increasing the political representation of Muslims improves health and education outcomes in the district from which the legislator is elected. We find no evidence of religious favoritism: Muslim children do not benefit more from Muslim political representation than children from other religious groups.

Keywords: religion; politician identity; infant mortality; primary education; india; Muslim; Fairness; Religion; Government and Politics; India;

Citation:

Bhalotra, Sonia, Irma Clots-Figueras, Guilhem Cassan, and Lakshmi Iyer. "Religion, Politician Identity and Development Outcomes: Evidence from India." Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization (forthcoming).