How are Votes Bought? An Empirical Examination of Transactional Politics in a Developing Economy


Although it is widely believed that votebuying is pervasive in Indian elections, understandably there is limited evidence for it. Our survey of over 250 villages, timed soon after a state election in Central India, suggests that votebuying is common, although not universal. We combine village-level variation in caste composition and political variables determined at the constituency level, to examine the mechanisms that determine whether votebuying occurs, and who receives offers to sell their vote.


About the Speaker

Sujata Visaria is Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. She has a Ph.D. from Columbia University, and worked at Boston University for four years before moving to HKUST. Her research has studied how the enforcement of credit contracts affects micro-level outcomes in developing countries, the problems that small farmers face in marketing agricultural produce, and explores alternative ways of microcredit beneficiary selection that targets productive borrowers. She is an affiliate of the Bureau for the Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD) and the Small and Medium Enterprise Initiative of Innovations for Poverty Action. She serves on the board of directors of the Asian Migrants Credit Union, the first and only savings and credit cooperative serving migrant workers in Hong Kong.

This webinar is part of a series of Zoom events that explores issues in growth and development in India. The series' academic committee consists of Takashi Kurosaki (Hitotsubashi Institute for Advanced Study), Pushkar Maitra (Monash University and Sujata Visaria (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology) .    

To Attend the Event

The event will take place on 25 August  2020 Tuesday at 11:30 am HKT == 1:30 pm AEST == 12:30 pm JST. (See corresponding times for different times zones).The online meeting room will be locked at around 11:50. 

Registration to the event is now closed. 

The event will be held online via Zoom. The meeting details will be sent to registrants by email on the day before the event.  

Also see here for advice from the university's IT office on Zoom best practices for attendees.   

The event will be broadcast live on the Institute's Facebook page.  Please "like" the page to get automatically notified once the broadcast starts. 


House Rules

  • We would like the webinar to be interactive. Please join with both audio and video whenever possible.
  • It is advised to mute yourself when you are not speaking. This prevents any distractions due to background noise.
  • Please rename yourself to your real name when entering the Zoom meeting.  
  • The chat function will be on, but the speaker may not see your chat message. Please consider raising your hand (blue hand button) or unmuting yourself to ask a question.
  • This talk will be recorded for internal use only.  

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