The Price of Power: Costs of Political Corruption in Indian Electricity
This is seminar is part of: Department of Economics Seminars Series
Politicians may target public goods to benefit their constituents, at the expense of others. I study corruption in the context of Indian electricity and estimate the welfare consequences. Using new administrative billing data and close-election regression discontinuities, I show that billed electricity consumption is lower for constituencies of the winning party, while actual consumption, measured by night time lights, is higher. I document the covert way in which politicians subsidize constituents by manipulating bills. These actions have substantial welfare implications, with an efficiency loss of over $0.6 billion, leading to unreliable electricity supply and significant negative consequences for development.
Date: 12 October 2023, 12:30 (Thursday, 1st week, Michaelmas 2023)
Venue: Manor Road Building, Manor Road OX1 3UQ
Venue Details: Seminar Room A or
Speaker: Meera Mahadevan (University of California, Irvine)
Organising department: Department of Economics
Part of: CSAE Special Seminars
Booking required?: Not required
Audience: Members of the University only
Editor: Suzanne George