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Just Rewards? Local Politics and Public Resource Allocation in South India

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  • Timothy Besley
  • Rohini Pande
  • Vijayendra Rao

Abstract

What factors determine the nature of political opportunism in local government in South India? To answer this question, we study two types of policy decisions that have been delegated to local politicians—beneficiary selection for transfer programs and the allocation of within-village public goods. Our data on village councils in South India show that, relative to other citizens, elected councillors are more likely to be selected as beneficiaries of a large transfer program. The chief councillor's village also obtains more public goods, relative to other villages. These findings can be interpreted using a simple model of the logic of political incentives in the context that we study. Copyright 2012, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by World Bank Group in its journal The World Bank Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 26 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 191-216

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Handle: RePEc:oup:wbecrv:v:26:y:2012:i:2:p:191-216

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  1. Timothy Besley & Rohini Pande & Lupin Rahman & Vijayendra Rao, 2004. "The Politics of Public Good Provision: Evidence from Indian Local Governments," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 416-426, 04/05.
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  3. Markus Goldstein & Christopher Udry, 2005. "The Profits of Power: Land Rights and Agricultural Investment in Ghana," Working Papers 929, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  4. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 1993. "Does Electoral Accountability Affect Economic Policy Choices? Evidence from Gubernatorial Term Limits," NBER Working Papers 4575, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Bradbury, John Charles & Stephenson, E Frank, 2003. " Local Government Structure and Public Expenditures," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 115(1-2), pages 185-98, April.
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  8. Pande, Rohini, 2008. "Understanding Political Corruption in Low Income Countries," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
  9. Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, . "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," Penn CARESS Working Papers ecf70d639d700dba5327ab0c8, Penn Economics Department.
  10. Timothy Besley & Rohini Pande & Vijayendra Rao, 2005. "Participatory Democracy in Action: Survey Evidence from South India," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 648-657, 04/05.
  11. Jeffrey R. Kling & Jeffrey B. Liebman & Lawrence F. Katz, 2005. "Experimental Analysis of Neighborhood Effects," NBER Working Papers 11577, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Esther Duflo & Petia Topalova, 2004. "Unappreciated service: Performance, perceptions, and women leaders in india," Framed Field Experiments 00233, The Field Experiments Website.
  13. Faguet, Jean-Paul, 2004. "Does decentralization increase government responsiveness to local needs?: Evidence from Bolivia," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 867-893, March.
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  15. Benjamin A. Olken, 2006. "Corruption Perceptions vs. Corruption Reality," NBER Working Papers 12428, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Ruben Enikolopov & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2004. "Decentralization and Political Institutions," Economics Working Papers 0045, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
  17. Faguet, Jean-Paul, 2001. "Does decentralization increase responsiveness to local needs? - evidence from Bolivia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2516, The World Bank.
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Cited by:
  1. Maria De Paola & Rosetta Lombardo & Vincenzo Scoppa, 2009. "Can Gender Quotas Break Down Negative Stereotypes? Evidence From Changes In Electoral Rules," Working Papers 200910, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza (Ex Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica).
  2. Baird, Sarah & McIntosh, Craig & Ozler, Berk, 2011. "The regressive demands of demand-driven development," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5883, The World Bank.
  3. Kaivan Munshi & Mark Rosenzweig, 2013. "Networks, Commitment, and Competence: Caste in Indian Local Politics," NBER Working Papers 19197, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Beaman, Lori & Chattopadhyay, Raghabendra & Duflo, Esther & Pande, Rohini & Topalova, Petia, 2008. "Powerful Women: Does Exposure Reduce Bias?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6922, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Kieu-Trang Nguyen & Quoc-Anh Do & Anh Tran, 2011. "One Mandarin Benefits the Whole Clan: Hometown Infrastructure and Nepotism in an Autocracy," Working Papers 18-2011, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.
  6. Lakshmi Iyer & Anandi Mani & Prachi Mishra & Petia Topalova, 2012. "The Power of Political Voice: Women's Political Representation and Crime in India," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 165-93, October.
  7. Kaivan Munshi & Mark Rosenzweig, 2008. "The Efficacy of Parochial Politics: Caste, Commitment, and Competence in Indian Local Governments," NBER Working Papers 14335, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Deepa Narayan & Lant Pritchett & Soumya Kapoor, 2009. "Moving Out of Poverty : Volume 2. Success from the Bottom Up," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 11838, October.
  9. Gustavo J. Bobonis & Luis R. Cámara Fuertes & Rainer Schwabe, 2012. "The Dynamic Effects of Information on Political Corruption: Theory and Evidence from Puerto Rico," Working Papers 2012-14, Banco de México.
  10. Mu, Ren & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2011. "The role of elected and appointed village leaders in the allocation of public resources: Evidence from a low-income region in China," IFPRI discussion papers 1061, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  11. repec:cge:warwcg:62 is not listed on IDEAS

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