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The Political Economy of Village Sanitation in South India: Capture or Poor Information?

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  • Radu Ban
  • Monica Das Gupta
  • Vijayendra Rao

Abstract

Despite efforts to mandate and finance local governments' provision of environmental sanitation services, outcomes remain poor in the villages surveyed in the four South Indian states. The analysis indicates some key issues that appear to hinder improvements in sanitation. Local politicians tend to capture sanitary infrastructure and cleaning services for themselves, while also keeping major village roads reasonably well-served. Their decisions suggest, however, that they neither understand the health benefits of sanitation, nor the negative externalities to their own health if surrounding areas are poorly served. Our findings suggest that improving sanitary outcomes requires disseminating information on the public goods nature of their health benefits, as well as on the local government's responsibilities. It also requires putting public health regulations in place, along with measures to enable accountability in service provision.

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File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00220380903002962
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Development Studies.

Volume (Year): 46 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 685-700

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:46:y:2010:i:4:p:685-700

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  1. Dilip Mookherjee & Pranab K. Bardhan, 2000. "Capture and Governance at Local and National Levels," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 135-139, May.
  2. Bardhan, Pranab & Mookherjee, Dilip, 2006. "Pro-poor targeting and accountability of local governments in West Bengal," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 303-327, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Platteau, Jean-Philippe & Somville, Vincent & Wahhaj, Zaki, 2014. "Elite capture through information distortion: A theoretical essay," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 250-263.

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