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Politics, Information and the Urban Bias

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  • Sumon Majumdar
  • Anandi Mani
  • Sharun W. Mukand

Abstract

Governments in many developing countries skew public resources towards urban sectors, despite a majority of citizens residing in rural areas. This paper develops a novel political argument for this urban bias phenomenon in a framework where all voters, rural and urban, have equal voice, but di?er in their access to information. We argue that this di?erence is su?cient to give governments an incentive to ine?ciently overallocate resources towards urban areas. The bias is shown to worsen during adverse economic times, leading to increased migration. We also examine how voter informativeness a?ects e?ciency of the electoral process in weeding out incompetent governments.

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File URL: http://ase.tufts.edu/econ/papers/200409.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Tufts University in its series Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University with number 0409.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:tuf:tuftec:0409

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Keywords: Urban Bias; Information; Heterogeneous Electorate; Migration.;

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  1. Orbeta, Aniceto Jr. C. & Manasan, Rosario G. & de Guzman, Generoso & Reyes, Celia M., 1999. "Social Impact of the Regional Financial Crisis in the Philippines," Discussion Papers DP 1999-14, Philippine Institute for Development Studies.
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  4. Mathias Dewatripont & Ian Jewitt & Jean Tirole, 1999. "The economics of career concerns: part 2 :application to missions and accountability of government agencies," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9641, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2000. "The political economy of government responsiveness: theory and evidence from India," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2308, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  6. Stromberg, David, 2001. "Mass media and public policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 652-663, May.
  7. Ades, Alberto F & Glaeser, Edward L, 1995. "Trade and Circuses: Explaining Urban Giants," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(1), pages 195-227, February.
  8. Andersen, Lykke Eg, 2002. "Rural-Urban Migration in Bolivia: Advantages and Disadvantages," Documentos de trabajo 5/2002, Instituto de Investigaciones Socio-Económicas (IISEC), Universidad Católica Boliviana.
  9. Arnott, Richard J & Gersovitz, Mark, 1986. "Social Welfare Underpinnings of Urban Bias and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(382), pages 413-24, June.
  10. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1990. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 21-36, March.
  11. Edward L. Glaeser, 1999. "Urban Primacy and Politics," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1874, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  12. Harris, John R & Todaro, Michael P, 1970. "Migration, Unemployment & Development: A Two-Sector Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 126-42, March.
  13. Basu, Kaushik C, 1980. "Optimal Policies in Dual Economies," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 95(1), pages 187-96, August.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Richard Mussa, 2013. "Rural--urban differences in parental spending on children's primary education in Malawi," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(6), pages 789-811, December.
  2. Gawande, Kishore & Krishna, Pravin & Olarreaga, Marcelo, 2009. "What Governments Maximize and Why: The View from Trade," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(03), pages 491-532, July.
  3. Barbara Bruns & Deon Filmer & Harry Anthony Patrinos, 2011. "Making Schools Work : New Evidence on Accountability Reforms," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2270, October.
  4. Henning Tarp Jensen & Sherman Robinson & Finn Tarp, 2004. "General Equilibrium Measures of Agricultural Policy Bias in Fifteen Developing Countries," Discussion Papers 04-25, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  5. Shifa, Abdulaziz B., 2011. "Poor rural land property rights as a manifestation of urban bias," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 116002, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  6. Mani, Anandi & Mukand, Sharun, 2007. "Democracy, visibility and public good provision," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 506-529, July.
  7. Shifa, Abdulaziz B., 2011. "Does agricultural growth have a causal effect on manufacturing growth?," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 116003, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  8. Claudio Ferraz & Frederico Finan, 2008. "Exposing Corrupt Politicians: The Effects of Brazil's Publicly Released Audits on Electoral Outcomes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(2), pages 703-745, 05.
  9. Shifa, Abdulaziz, 2011. "The Dual Policy in the Dual Economy - The Political Economy of Urban Bias in Dictatorial Regimes," Research Papers in Economics 2011:22, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  10. Masayuki Kudamatsu, 2007. "Has Democratization Reduced Infant Mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa? Evidence from Micro Data," ISER Discussion Paper 0685, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  11. Singh, Nirvikar, 2007. "Fiscal Federalism and Decentralization in India," MPRA Paper 1447, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Astghik Mavisakalyan, 2013. "Development Priorities in an Emerging Decentralized Economy: The Case of Armenia’s Local Development Programs," Transition Studies Review, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 105-118, April.
  13. Singh, Nirvikar, 2007. "Fiscal Federalism and Decentralization in India∗," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt11b543tk, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.

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