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We-ness and Welfare: A Longitudinal Analysis of Social Development in Kerala, India

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  • Singh, Prerna
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    Abstract

    Summary This paper challenges the conventional wisdom that ethnic diversity negatively influences public goods provision through a longitudinal study of the Indian state of Kerala, which has attained exceptional levels of social development despite high fragmentation along religious and caste lines. This paper argues that it is not objective diversity but a subjective sense of "we-ness," which is the key determinant of the level of public goods provision and social development. A historical analysis of Kerala illustrates how a cohesive subnational community generates progressive social policy as well as societal monitoring of schools and clinics, which together give rise to relatively high levels of education and health outcomes.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

    Volume (Year): 39 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 2 (February)
    Pages: 282-293

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:39:y:2011:i:2:p:282-293

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev

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    Keywords: ethnicity subnationalism public goods provision social development South Asia Kerala;

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    1. Abhijit Banerjee & Rohini Somanathan, 2004. "The political economy of public goods: Some evidence from India," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 04-17, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
    2. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
    3. Dayton-Johnson, Jeff, 2000. "Determinants of collective action on the local commons: a model with evidence from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 181-208, June.
    4. J. Devika, 2002. "Domesticating Malayalees: Family planning, the nation and home-centred anxieties in Mid-20th century Keralam," Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum Working Papers 340, Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum, India.
    5. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1999. "Public Goods And Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1243-1284, November.
    6. Alberto Alesina & Arnaud Devleeschauwer & William Easterly & Sergio Kurlat & Romain Wacziarg, 2002. "Fractionalization," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1959, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
      • Wacziarg, Romain & Alesina, Alberto & Devleeschauwer, Arnaud & Easterly, William & Kurlat, Sergio, 2002. "Fractionalization," Research Papers 1744, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
      • Alberto Alesina & Arnaud Devleeschauwer & William Easterly & Sergio Kurlat & Romain Wacziarg, 2003. "Fractionalization," NBER Working Papers 9411, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
      • Alesina, Alberto & Devleeschauwer, Arnaud & Wacziarg, Romain & Kurlat, Sergio & Easterly, William, 2003. "Fractionalization," Scholarly Articles 4553003, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    7. Baland, Jean-Marie & Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 1998. "Wealth Inequality and Efficiency in the Commons, Part II: The Regulated Case," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(1), pages 1-22, January.
    8. Dreze, Jean & Sen, Amartya, 2002. "India: Development and Participation," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780199257492, September.
    9. Miguel, Edward & Gugerty, Mary Kay, 2005. "Ethnic diversity, social sanctions, and public goods in Kenya," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2325-2368, December.
    10. Heller, Patrick, 1996. "Social capital as a product of class mobilization and state intervention: Industrial workers in Kerala, India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1055-1071, June.
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