Impact of Ballot Access Laws on Candidacy in India's Village Councils
Department of Political Science
Thursday, March 2, 2023
3:45 pm-5:00 pm
Taylor-Hibbard Seminar Room (Rm103)
Many countries require candidates for political office to meet certain characteristics.I argue that these ballot access laws often result in disproportionate costs to certain groups, hindering their political participation compared to other groups. To test this proposition, I examine the impact of India’s unique ballot access law, which imposes a two-child limit on eligibility for village council elections. This law prevents potential candidates who exceed the limit from running for office. It may affect socio-economic groups with a strong preference for more than two children, such as Muslims and Scheduled Castes & Tribes (SC/ST), if young potential candidates in these groups prefer to have more children. To evaluate these potential unintended consequences, I leverage the spatial and temporal variation in the adoption of these laws across states in India using a staggered difference-in-differences design. Using data from a nationally representative survey, I find that fertility limits reduce Muslim candidacy, but there is no significant impact on SC/ST candidacy.