Partisan alignment, insurgency and public safety: evidence from the Indian Red Corridor

Crawford School of Public Policy | Arndt-Corden Department of Economics

Event details

ACDE Seminar

Date & time

Tuesday 23 July 2024


Acton Theatre JG Crawford Building and Online Zoom


Ashani Amarasinghe, University of Sydney

Better economic outcomes can prevail when governments at different levels of hierarchy are politically aligned. This often happens because upper-level governments are more willing to transfer resources to, and invest in public goods in, aligned constituencies, where the elected candidate belongs to the party in power. In this paper we examine whether such political alignment causally affects public safety. We consider the case of the Naxalite insurgency in India, an issue of significant public safety and security. We focus on close elections using a regression discontinuity (RD) design, which allows us to examine the causal impact of electing a (state ruling party) aligned candidate at the constituency level. Our RD estimates show that the election of an aligned candidate leads to a significant reduction in the incidence of violence. We find that the benefits of alignment are amplified where politically aligned constituencies are spatially clustered. Examining the role of local natural resource activity, i.e., mining, as an underlying mechanism, we find that this negative effect is driven by constituencies close to mining areas. These findings confirm the relevance of political alignment in delivering public safety within constituencies, and the potential role played by local mining activity.

Seminar attendance:

In person: Acton Theatre, JG Crawford Building, ANU Crawford School of Public Policy

Online via Zoom:

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