Template-Type: ReDIF-Paper 1.0 Author-Name: Sabyasachi Das Author-Name-First: Sabyasachi Author-Name-Last: Das Author-Email: sabyasachi.das@ashoka.edu.in Author-Workplace-Name: Department of Economics, Ashoka University Author-Name-First: Abhiroop Author-Name-Last: Mukhopadhyay Author-Email: abhiroop@isid.ac.in Author-Workplace-Name: Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi Author-Name: Rajas Saroy Author-Name-First: Rajas Author-Name-Last: Saroy Author-Email: rajassaroy@gmail.com Author-Workplace-Name: Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi Title: Does Affirmative Action in Politics Hinder Performance? Evidence from India Abstract: We examine how performance of elected representatives, as measured by delivery of public goods, is affected by affirmative action in elections, i.e., imposing quota in elections for one population group. We show both theoretically and empirically, using randomized electoral quotas for a caste group (OBCs) in India, that when group identities are salient and group sizes are asymmetric, affirmative action may in fact increase electoral competition and consequently, improve leader’s performance. The result challenges the notion that equity promotion must necessarily come at the cost of “efficiency.” It further justifies the electoral quota policy in India of targeting the jurisdictions where the group is numerous. length: 63 Creation-Date: 20180802 Revision-Date: Publication-Status: File-URL: https://dp.ashoka.edu.in/ash/wpaper/paper03_0.pdf File-Format: Application/pdf Number: 03 Keywords: Electoral competition Keywords: Gram Panchayat Keywords: Public goods Keywords: Reservation Handle: RePEc:ash:wpaper:03