Why do candidates give voters handouts during political campaigns? Drawing on qualitative data from Mumbai, this article argues that competitive elections prompt candidates to distribute handouts for strategic reasons. While they know handouts to be inefficient, candidates face a prisoner’s dilemma. Fearing that their opponents will distribute handouts, they distribute them themselves to counter, or neutralize, their opponents’ strategies.
Electoral Handouts in Mumbai Elections: The Cost of Political Competition
Simon Chauchard is an Assistant Professor of Government at Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, USA. He is the author of Why Representation Matters: The Meaning of Ethnic Quotas in Rural India (Cambridge University Press, 2017). Email: <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
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Simon Chauchard; Electoral Handouts in Mumbai Elections: The Cost of Political Competition. Asian Survey 1 April 2018; 58 (2): 341–364. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/as.2018.58.2.341
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