Educated leaders through legislation but at what cost?

Development Research Seminar with Subhasish Dey
Associate professor
Dr Subhasish Dey
Get to know Subhasish Dey
Tuesday 20 Jun 2023, 16:00 - 17:00
Spoken Language
Room 3.39
International Institute of Social Studies
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Please contact Eveline Deutman if you would like more information about this seminar.

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Subhasish Dey

Do minimum education requirements of political leaders improve the quality of those leaders? In this Development Research Seminar, Dr Subhasish Dey argues that they do not.

Many societies have tried to design incentives and restrictions to improve the quality of their political leaders.

In this seminar, Dey use a legislation introduced in 2014 that mandated minimum education requirements – a correlate of quality - in the context of local village council elections in Rajasthan state of India, to look at the impact of such restrictions on the selection of elected leaders.

He shows that disadvanteged groups were more likely to be under-represented in areas where such legislation hit the hardest in terms of the incumbents not meeting the education criteria. These results remain unchaged, even when accounting for differences in education and population characteristics.

He futher finds that this legislation did not lead to a demonstrable improvement in the performance of the public programme, to economic development or investment in education.


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The Development Research seminars present cutting-edge research on development studies by noted scholars from around the world. The Series aims to stimulate critical discussion about contemporary development issues.

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