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Sitakanta Panda
''Legislator characteristics and legislative outcomes in India''
( 2012, Vol. 32 No.4 )
We empirically test the prediction that the personal attributes of the legislators critically determine the legislative performance of a legislature in an Indian context. Analyzing the data on the Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) in the state of Tamil Nadu in the 2006-11 Assembly batch, we examine how the various personal characteristics of the legislators affect two indicators of legislative outcomes – their attendance in the Assembly session-days and the number of the questions asked by them on public policy. We find that the legislators who are more affluent attend significantly fewer Assembly sessions than their less rich colleagues. The legislators who are more affluent and more educated and those who belong to the opposition party ask significantly less questions in the Assembly sessions. Though the session attendance and the asked questions can be part of a larger set of legislative performance indicators; in presence of data constraints, we argue these two can substantially signal the lawmakers' performance. [Keywords: Legislator quality, legislative outcomes, India.] [JEL classification: D72, H11.]
Keywords: Legislator quality, legislative performance, India.
JEL: D7 - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making: General
H1 - Structure and Scope of Government: General
Manuscript Received : Oct 24 2012 Manuscript Accepted : Dec 19 2012

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