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Determinants of Redistributive Politics: An Empirical Analysis of Land Reforms in West Bengal, India

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  • Pranab Bardhan
  • Dilip Mookherjee

Abstract

We investigate political determinants of land reform implementation in the Indian state of West Bengal. Using a village panel spanning 1974-1998, we do not find evidence supporting the hypothesis that land reforms were positively and monotonically related to control of local governments by a Left Front coalition vis-�-vis the right-centrist Congress party, combined with lack of commitment to policy platforms. Instead, the evidence is consistent with a quasi-Downsian theory stressing the role of opportunism (reelection concerns) and electoral competition. (JEL D72, O13, O17, Q15)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 100 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (September)
Pages: 1572-1600

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:100:y:2010:i:4:p:1572-1600

Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.100.4.1572
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  1. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  2. Lindbeck, Assar & Weibull, Jorgen W., 1993. "A model of political equilibrium in a representative democracy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 195-209, June.
  3. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 1998. "Land Reform, Poverty Reduction and Growth: Evidence from India," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 13, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  4. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275, February.
  5. Bardhan, Pranab K, 1973. "Size, Productivity, and Returns to Scale: An Analysis of Farm-Level Data in Indian Agriculture," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(6), pages 1370-86, Nov.-Dec..
  6. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Paul J. Gertler & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2002. "Empowerment and Efficiency: Tenancy Reform in West Bengal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 239-280, April.
  7. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Pranab Bardhan & Dilip Mookherjee & Neha Kumar, 2009. "State-Led or Market-Led Green Revolution? Role of Private Irrigation Investment vis-a-vis Local Government Programs in West Bengal’s Farm Productivity Growth," Working Papers id:2209, eSocialSciences.
  2. Macours, Karen, 2014. "Ethnic divisions, contract choice, and search costs in the Guatemalan land rental market," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 1-18.
  3. Deininger, Klaus & Jin, Songqing & Yadav, Vandana, 2012. "Does sharecropping affect productivity and long-term investment ? evidence from West Bengal's tenancy reforms," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6293, The World Bank.
  4. Dilip Mookherjee & Pranab Bardhan & Michael Luca & Francisco Pino, 2010. "Evolution of Land Distribution in West Bengal 1967-2004: Role of Land Reform and Demographic Changes," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2010-037, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  5. Gupta, Bhanu & Mukhopadhyay, Abhiroop, 2014. "Local Funds and Political Competition: Evidence from the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in India," IZA Discussion Papers 8196, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Pranab Bardhan & Dilip Mookherjee, 2011. "Subsidized Farm Input Programs and Agricultural Performance: A Farm-Level Analysis of West Bengal's Green Revolution, 1982-1995," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 186-214, October.
  7. Abhiroop Mukhopadhyay, 2012. "The political economy of implementing the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in India," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series esid-015-12, BWPI, The University of Manchester.

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