Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Political Organizations and Political Scope

Published Web Location

Political checks and balances make different organs of government complementary in the exercise of power. We study how a party organization can seek and abuse these comple-mentarities to expand its influence. We combine data from the Indian state of West Bengal on elections across different levels of government. These are matched to 300 million pay-ments from a welfare scheme that requires approval from both state and local governments. Using a multidimensional close election design, we study the consequences of co-partisan alignment between these two tiers. The state government gives disproportionate funding to co-partisan local officials, who target core supporters to raise votes for co-partisan national candidates. Local officials are rewarded through diverted welfare payments, including a per-formance bonus immediately after the national election. The ruling party expands its power by recruiting opposition candidates in strategically important local councils, bringing even greater control over public funds.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View