We study the wealth accumulation of Indian state politicians using public disclosures required of all candidates. The annual asset growth of winners is 3–5 percent higher than that of runners-up, a difference that holds also in a set of close elections. The relative asset growth of winners is greater in more corrupt states and for those holding ministerial positions. These results are consistent with a rent-seeking explanation for the relatively high rate of growth in winners’ assets.
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Journal of Political Economy
One of the oldest and most prestigious journals in economics, the Journal of Political Economy has since 1892 presented significant research and scholarship in economic theory and practice.