||Focusing on the understudied causes of variation in domestic aid efficacy, this research studies the politics of sub-national development. While allocation and implementation of aid projects is affected by donor governments, multilateral aid agencies, NGOs, and a wide variety of private actors, the domestic political leaders of recipient countries play a particularly important role. Based on work by Dreher et al. (2016), Bueno de Mesquita et al. (2003), and others, this research develops a theoretical claim for how electoral incentives make office-seeking leaders engineer higher levels of aid effectiveness for the specific constituencies they rely on for political survival. Empirically, this argument is tested with the help of a mixedmethods approach that combines statistical analyses of geocoded sub-national development data with evidence from a comparative case study of Indian states.