Economic Reforms and Election Outcomes
Economists Poonam Gupta and Arvind Panagariya ask whether voters are reacting to the increased rural-urban divide by voting out governments sympathetic to reforms as critics argue or returning the governments that deliver superior economic outcomes as suggested by Jagdish Bhagwati and Panagariya. To inform this debate, the authors offer an in-depth analysis of the 2009 election. They divide the states into high-, medium-, and low-growth categories. They then ask how the candidates of the state-level incumbent parties performed in the 2009 parliamentary elections in the three categories of states. Remarkably, they find that incumbent parties in the high-growth states won 85 percent of the seats they contested, while in the medium- and low-growth states they won 52 and 40 percent of the seats contested.
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