Building connections: Political corruption and road construction in India

Data Type
Administrative Data
Political Data
Year Covered


Data is based upon close elections in India (4,058 electoral terms from 2001 to 2013, covering 2,632 constituencies in 24 of the 28 states) and roads built under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) program during that period. 

This is replication data for the paper "Building connections: Political corruption and road construction in India". The abstract of the paper is: 

Politically-driven corruption is a pervasive challenge for development, but evidence of its welfare effects are scarce. Using data from a major rural road construction programme in India we document political influence in a setting where politicians have no official role in contracting decisions. Exploiting close elections to identify the causal effect of coming to power, we show that the share of contractors whose name matches that of the winning politician increases by 83% (from 4% to 7%) in the term after a close election compared to the term before. Regression discontinuity estimates at the road level show that political interference raises the cost of road construction and increases the likelihood that roads go missing.

If you use this data please cite: 

Lehne, Jonathan, et al. “Building Connections: Political Corruption and Road Construction in India.” Journal of Development Economics, vol. 131, 2018, pp. 62–78., doi:10.1016/j.jdeveco.2017.10.009.

Single Country
Repeated Measurement