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Impact of Political Reservations in West Bengal Local Governments on Anti-Poverty Targeting

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Author Info

  • Bardhan Pranab K.

    (University of California, Berkeley)

  • Mookherjee Dilip

    (Boston University)

  • Parra Torrado Monica

    (Fedesarrollo, Bogota, Colombia)

Abstract

Political reservation for disadvantaged groups is believed to be a way of improving targeting of publicly provided goods to those groups. This paper examines the impact of political reservations for women and scheduled castes and tribe (SC/ST) candidates in local governments in West Bengal, India between 1998-2004 on targeting to landless, low caste and female-headed households. It differs from existing literature by differences in geographic coverage, time span, and use of self-reported household benefits across a broad range of programs. Reservation of chief executive (pradhan) positions in local government for women was associated with a significant worsening of within-village targeting to SC/ST households, and no improvement on any other dimension of targeting. Reservation of pradhan posts for SC/ST members was associated with a significant increase in benefits received by the village as a whole, improvement in intra-village targeting to female-headed households, and to the group (SC or ST) of the pradhan. The effects of women's reservations are not consistent with simple citizen-candidate or elite capture models of electoral politics. They are consistent with a more complex hypothesis of capture-cum-clientelism which is weakened by election of politically inexperienced women to reserved pradhan posts.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Journal of Globalization and Development.

Volume (Year): 1 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 1-38

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:globdv:v:1:y:2010:i:1:n:5

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Web page: http://www.degruyter.com

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Cited by:
  1. Chin, Aimee & Prakash, Nishith, 2009. "The Redistributive Effects of Political Reservation for Minorities: Evidence from India," IZA Discussion Papers 4391, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Bhalotra, Sonia R. & Clots-Figueras, Irma & Iyer, Lakshmi, 2013. "Path-Breakers: How Does Women's Political Participation Respond to Electoral Success?," IZA Discussion Papers 7771, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Kumar Das, Pranab & Kar, Saibal & Kayal, Madhumanti, 2011. "Religious Minorities and Provision of Public Goods: Evidence from Rural West Bengal," IZA Discussion Papers 6154, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Ban, Radu & Jha, Saumitra & Rao, Vijayendra, 2012. "Who has voice in a deliberative democracy? Evidence from transcripts of village parliaments in south India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 428-438.
  5. Mori, Yuko & Kurosaki, Takashi, 2013. "Does Political Reservation Affect Voting Behavior? Empirical Evidence from India," CEI Working Paper Series 2012-09, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  6. Farzana Afridi & Vegard Iversen & M.R. Sharan, 2013. "Women political leaders, corruption and learning: Evidence from a large public program in India," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 13-02, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
  7. Santosh Kumar & Nishith Prakash, 2012. "Political Decentralization, Women's Reservation and Child Health Outcomes: A Case Study of Rural Bihar," Working papers 2012-18, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  8. Deininger, Klaus & Jin, Songqing & Nagarajan, Hari K. & Fang, Xia, 2011. "Does female reservation affect long-term political outcomes ? Evidence from rural India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5708, The World Bank.
  9. Afridi, Farzana & Iversen, Vegard & Sharan, M.R., 2013. "Women Political Leaders, Corruption and Learning: Evidence from a Large Public Program in India," IZA Discussion Papers 7212, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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