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Clients and ConstituentsPolitical Responsiveness in Patronage Democracies$
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Jennifer Bussell

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190945398

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190945398.001.0001

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The Provision of Constituency Service

The Provision of Constituency Service

(p.71) 3 The Provision of Constituency Service
Clients and Constituents

Jennifer Bussell

Oxford University Press

Chapter 3 draws on a field experimental audit of politicians with a near census of Indian state and national legislators to show that, on the whole, politicians do not take indicators of partisanship into account when responding to individual-level requests. Specifically, this national field experiment shows that for India’s high-level politicians, information on electoral preferences does not affect the willingness of representatives to respond to an individual’s request for assistance. In addition, indications of shared ethnicity, e.g., caste, which may be closely tied to political preferences, do not result in preferential treatment. Overall, these findings offer strong evidence that the aid high-level politicians offer to individuals requiring assistance navigating the state is often noncontingent in nature, taking the form of constituency service.

Keywords:   India, constituency service, field experiment, partisanship, noncontingent

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