This paper provides a comprehensive analysis of the effect of an affirmative action policy on the quality of candidates using political quotas in India. Using the latest data and a regression discontinuity design, I find the caste quotas lead to political candidates with different attributes: lower wealth, lower criminal charges, and increased representation of women, but similar education levels. I find no significant difference in the level of public goods in rural India between quota-bound and non-quota-bound areas. The results suggest an increase in political diversity with no negative effects on the provision of basic facilities.
Eastern Economic Journal
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