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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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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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  7. 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.
  8. Edward L. Glaeser, 1999. "Urban Primacy and Politics," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1874, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  9. 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.
  10. Williamson, Jeffrey G., 1988. "Migration and urbanization," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 11, pages 425-465 Elsevier.
  11. Kenneth Rogoff, 1987. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," NBER Working Papers 2428, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Shifa, Abdulaziz B., 2013. "The dual policy in the dual economy—The political economy of urban bias in dictatorial regimes," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 77-85.
  2. Richard Mussa, 2010. "Rural-Urban Differences in Parental Spending on Children’s Primary Education in Malawi," SALDRU Working Papers 49, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
  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, August.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Mani, Anandi & Mukand, Sharun, 2007. "Democracy, visibility and public good provision," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 506-529, July.
  9. Ferraz, Claudio & Finan, Frederico S., 2007. "Exposing Corrupt Politicians: The Effects of Brazil’s Publicly Released Audits on Electoral Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 2836, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Singh, Nirvikar, 2007. "Fiscal Federalism and Decentralization in India∗," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt11b543tk, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  11. 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.
  12. Jensen, Henning Tarp & Robinson, Sherman & Tarp, Finn, 2002. "General equilibrium measures of agricultural policy bias in fifteen developing countries," TMD discussion papers 105, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  13. Singh, Nirvikar, 2007. "Fiscal Federalism and Decentralization in India," MPRA Paper 1447, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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