Political Competition and Rural Welfare: Evidence from PakistanWorking Paper (2017)
Can stronger political competition improve rural livelihoods in developing countries? We explore this question in Pakistan, showing that less political concentration in a Provincial Assembly constituency predicts significantly better access to publicly-provided infrastructure and amenities, but no changes in other public goods including perceived access to justice and security. Nonetheless, overall welfare effects appear to be positive: lower political concentration predicts higher expenditures per capita, especially among land--poor households. It also predicts predict higher land values, greater land wealth, and lower land wealth inequality. Further, less political concentration is associated with more land rental, which may benefit the land--poor. These findings are largely robust to use of alternate measures of political concentration, a more plausibly exogenous measure of political concentration exploiting political parties' national popularity, and instrumental variables. Greater provision of both public and private goods appears to explain welfare improvements.
Publication DateSummer August 15, 2017
Citation InformationKatrina Kosec, David J. Spielman, Hamza Haider and Fatima Zaidi. "Political Competition and Rural Welfare: Evidence from Pakistan" Working Paper (2017)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/katrina_kosec/26/