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Public Action for Public Goods

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  • Banerjee, Abhijit
  • Iyer, Lakshmi
  • Somanathan, Rohini

Abstract

This paper focuses on the relationship between public action and access to public goods. It begins by developing a simple model to capture the various mechanisms that are discussed in the theoretical literature on collective action. We use the model to illustrate the special assumptions embedded in many popular theories of collective action and show how their apparently conflicting predictions can be reconciled in a more general framework. This is followed by a review of empirical research on collective action and public goods. These studies, while broadly consistent with the theoretical literature, account for a small part of the observed variation in provision. Access to public goods is often better explained by "top-down" interventions rather than the "bottom-up" processes highlighted in the collective action literature. We conclude with a discussion of some historically important interventions of this type.

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Bibliographic Info

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This chapter was published in:

  • T. Paul Schultz & John A. Strauss (ed.), 2008. "Handbook of Development Economics," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 4, number 5, January.
    This item is provided by Elsevier in its series Handbook of Development Economics with number 5-49.

    Handle: RePEc:eee:devchp:5-49

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/bookseriesdescription.cws_home/BS_HE/description

    Related research

    Keywords: public goods; collective action;

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    Cited by:
    1. Frédéric LESNE, 2013. "School Fees, Parental Participation and Accountability: Evidence from Madagascar," Working Papers halshs-00825244, HAL.
    2. Sarmistha Pal & Zaki Wahhaj, 2012. "Fiscal Decentralisation, Local Institutions and Public Goods Provision: Evidence from Indonesia," Studies in Economics 1216, Department of Economics, University of Kent.
    3. Christophe Muller & Marc Vothknecht, 2011. "Group Violence, Ethnic Diversity, and Citizen Participation: Evidence from Indonesia," IDEP Working Papers 1101, Institut d'economie publique (IDEP), Marseille, France, revised May 2011.
    4. Girard, Victoire, 2011. "The impact of inter-group relationships on intra-group cooperation. A case study in rural India," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 32, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
    5. Gille, Véronique, 2011. "Education spillovers in farm productivity: empirical evidence in rural India," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 31, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
    6. Sawada, Yasuyuki & Kasahara, Ryuji & Aoyagi, Aoyagi & Shoji, Masahiro & Ueyama, Mika, 2012. "Modes of Collective Action in Village Economies:Evidence from Natural and Artefactual Field Experiments in a Developing Country," Working Papers 47, JICA Research Institute.
    7. 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).
    8. Calzada, Joan & Iranzo Sancho, Susana, 2012. "Neither Private nor Public: The Effects of Communal Provision of Water on Child Health in Peru," Working Papers 2072/196649, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
    9. Jonathan Gheyssens & Isabel Günther, 2013. "Conditional cooperation among the poor: a new profile?," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 135, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    10. Véronique Gille, 2012. "Education spillovers: empirical evidence in rural India," Indian Growth and Development Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 5(1), pages 4-24, April.
    11. Raghbendra Jha & Hari Nagarajan & Kailash C.Pradhan, 2013. "The role of bribes in rural governance: The case of India," ASARC Working Papers 2013-03, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.
    12. Temple, Jonathan R.W., 2010. "Aid and Conditionality," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    13. Mu, Ren & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2014. "Do elected leaders in a limited democracy have real power? Evidence from rural China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 17-27.
    14. Elise Huillery, 2010. "The Impact of European Settlement within French West Africa," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/c8dmi8nm4pd, Sciences Po.
    15. Frédéric LESNE, 2013. "School Fees, Parental Participation and Accountability: Evidence from Madagascar," Working Papers halshs-00825240, HAL.
    16. Balasubramaniam, Divya & Chatterjee, Santanu & Mustard, David B., 2011. "Got Water? Social Divisions and Access to Public Goods in Rural India," IZA Discussion Papers 5977, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    17. Elise Huillery, 2011. "The Impact of European Settlement within French West Africa: Did Pre-colonial Prosperous Areas Fall Behind?," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 20(2), pages 263-311, March.

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