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What do the Voters Reward: Personality, Party or Performance?

Gupta, Poonam (2013): What do the Voters Reward: Personality, Party or Performance?

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Abstract

Election results are generally hard to predict, and India is no exception. This paper discusses the factors that are important in explaining the results of the 2009 parliamentary elections in India. Our results show that the voters prefer the candidates who have served in the parliament before, are wealthy and educated, and are affiliated with a large party. Wealth of the candidate is important not only in itself, but also in that it reduces the negative effect of “taint” associated with a candidate facing criminal charges. One important factor however, which dwarfs the effect of all other factors, is the economic performance under the incumbent state governments. Voters forcefully vote in favor of the parties which deliver high growth and reject the ones which do not.

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