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The Allocation of Publicly-Provided Goods to Rural Households in India: On Some Consequences of Caste, Religion and Democracy

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  • Roger R. Betancourt

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Maryland)

  • Suzanne Gleason

    ()
    (Massachussetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School)

Abstract

In this study we address the following question-- what determines the allocation of publicly-provided goods to rural households in India? Our paper is empirically driven but we draw on the characteristics of India's institutional structure and the implications of existing literature for framing the answer to this question. We confront the main empirical implications drawn from this frame of reference with a unique data set for India which brings together the widely used district data with a recently constructed data set on political participation. Our empirical results identify four important determinants of the outcomes of this allocation process: formal and informal characteristics of each state allocation mechanism, selectivity in the allocations against Muslims and scheduled castes; bureaucratic rules and behavior; and characteristics of the electoral participation process.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Maryland, Department of Economics in its series Electronic Working Papers with number 99-004.

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Date of creation: Jun 1999
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Handle: RePEc:umd:umdeco:99-004

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Postal: Department of Economics, University of Maryland, Tydings Hall, College Park, MD 20742
Web page: http://www.econ.umd.edu/

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Postal: Ms. Elizabeth Martinez, Department of Economics, University of Maryland, Tydings Hall, College Park, MD 20742
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Related research

Keywords: Distribution Sector; Allocation of Publicly-provided Goods; Tiebout; Collective Choice; Fiscal Decentralization in Developing Countries; Rural India; Empirical Analysis of Institutions;

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References

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  1. Bruno Frey, 1971. "Why do high income people participate more in politics?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 101-105, September.
  2. Zhang, Tao & Zou, Heng-fu, 1998. "Fiscal decentralization, public spending, and economic growth in China," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 221-240, February.
  3. Kollman, Ken & Miller, John H & Page, Scott E, 1997. "Political Institutions and Sorting in a Tiebout Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 977-92, December.
  4. Rosenzweig, Mark R., 1988. "Labor markets in low-income countries," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 15, pages 713-762 Elsevier.
  5. Huther, Jeff & Shah, Anwar, 1998. "Applying a simple measure of good governance to the debate on fiscal decentralization," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1894, The World Bank.
  6. Davoodi, Hamid & Zou, Heng-fu, 1998. "Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Study," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 244-257, March.
  7. Deaton, Angus, 1995. "Data and econometric tools for development analysis," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 33, pages 1785-1882 Elsevier.
  8. Yingyi Qian & Barry R. Weingast, 1997. "Federalism as a Commitment to Preserving Market Incentives," Working Papers 97042, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  9. Yifu Lin, Justin & Nugent, Jeffrey B., 1995. "Institutions and economic development," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 38, pages 2301-2370 Elsevier.
  10. Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Ahmet Faruk Aysan, 2006. "The Role of Efficiency of Redistributive Institutions on Redistribution: An Empirical Assessment," Working Papers 2006/14, Bogazici University, Department of Economics.
  2. M. Niaz Asadullah & Uma Kambhampati & Florencia Lopez Boo, 2009. "Social Divisions in School Participation and Attainment in India: 1983-2004," Research Department Publications 4637, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  3. Patricia Justino, 2003. "Redistribution, Inequality and Political Conflict," PRUS Working Papers 18, Poverty Research Unit at Sussex, University of Sussex.
  4. Mwangi S. Kimenyi, 2006. "Ethnicity, Governance and the Provision of Public Goods," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 15(1), pages 62-99, April.
  5. Aysan, Ahmet Faruk, 2005. "The Shadowing Role of Redistributive Institutions in the Relationship Between Income Inequality and Redistribution," MPRA Paper 17772, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Sarmistha Pal & Sugata Ghosh, 2006. "Elite Dominance and Under-investment in Mass Education: Disparity in the Social Development of the Indian States, 1960-92," CEDI Discussion Paper Series 06-05, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.
  7. Sarmistha Pal & Sugata Ghosh, 2008. "The Elite and the Marginalised: an Analysis of Public Spending on Mass Education in the Indian States," CEDI Discussion Paper Series 08-15, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.
  8. Crost, Benjamin & Kambhampati, Uma S., 2010. "Political Market Characteristics and the Provision of Educational Infrastructure in North India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 195-204, February.

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