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Public Action for Public Goods

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  • Abhijit Banerjee
  • Lakshmi Iyer
  • Rohini Somanathan

Abstract

This paper focuses on the relationship between public action and access to public goods. It begins by developing a simple model of collective action which is intended to capture the various mechanisms that are discussed in the theoretical literature on collective action. We argue that several of these intuitive theoretical arguments rely on special additional assumptions that are often not made clear. We then review the empirical work based on the predictions of these models of collective action. While the available evidence is generally consistent with these theories, there is a dearth of quality evidence. Moreover, a large part of the variation in access to public goods seems to have nothing to do with the "bottom-up" forces highlighted in these models and instead reflect more "top-down" interventions. We conclude with a discussion of some of the historical evidence on top-down interventions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12911.

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Date of creation: Feb 2007
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Publication status: published as Banerjee, Abhijit & Iyer, Lakshmi & Somanathan, Rohini, 2008. "Public Action for Public Goods," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12911

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Frédéric LESNE, 2013. "School Fees, Parental Participation and Accountability: Evidence from Madagascar," Working Papers halshs-00825244, HAL.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  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, 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.
  8. Frédéric LESNE, 2013. "School Fees, Parental Participation and Accountability: Evidence from Madagascar," Working Papers halshs-00825240, HAL.
  9. Elise Huillery, 2010. "The Impact of European Settlement within French West Africa," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/c8dmi8nm4pd, Sciences Po.
  10. 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.
  11. 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).
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Temple, Jonathan R.W., 2010. "Aid and Conditionality," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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).

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