Constructing Influence

VoxDev: A pervasive politician-developer nexus exists in Indian cities, where politicians receive illicit financial support from real estate developers in exchange for favourable building policies and accelerated approvals. This “quid pro quo” facilitates the flow of “black money” — income hidden from tax authorities — into campaign coffers. The nexus is difficult to discern in detail due to the opacity of the system, but we uncover what is plausibly a natural consequence: when politicians turnover, building construction slows down.

From a summary in VoxDev of my Journal of Development Economics piece (with Tandel and Gandhi) on the politics of development in Mumbai.

Addendum: See also my Journal of Urban Economics piece on the dangers of public interest litigation in slowing development and also my videos Skyscrapers and Slums and Rent Control in Mumbai for more on these issues.


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