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Fiscal Federalism, State Lobbying And Discretionary Finance: Evidence From India

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  • RONGILI BISWAS
  • SUGATA MARJIT
  • VELAYOUDOM MARIMOUTOU

Abstract

In the quasi-federal democratic polity that India has, lobbying for central funds by the states is often done in a subliminal fashion. Hence, it becomes difficult to get an account of how much lobbying has been done to a particular end. Our paper attempts at constructing certain political proxy variables to quantify the extent of such lobbying in India. We quantify lobbying through the ministerial representation in the council of ministers. We also use several time and state dummies to account for the constituent states' political alignment with the center as well as the coalition and the reform period breaks in the Indian system. Taking panel data that cover 29 years and 14 major states we show that our constructed variables do explain disparity in central fiscal disbursements under the non-formulaic "discretionary" head in a robust way. Our findings remain true even after we take into account the impact of endogeneity of net state income on the transfers. Additionally, our exercise brings to the fore the fact that the coalition governments and economic reform measures impact upon state lobbying at the center in a significant manner. Copyright 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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  • Rongili Biswas & Sugata Marjit & Velayoudom Marimoutou, 2010. "Fiscal Federalism, State Lobbying And Discretionary Finance: Evidence From India," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 68-91, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:22:y:2010:i:1:p:68-91
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    Cited by:

    1. Sandhya Garg, 2015. "Spatial convergence in public expenditure across Indian states: Implication of federal transfers," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2015-028, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    2. Janet Gale Stotsky & Asad Zaman, 2016. "The Influence of Gender Budgeting in Indian States on Gender Inequality and Fiscal Spending," IMF Working Papers 16/227, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Ghosh, Saibal & Kumar, Rakesh, 2014. "Monetary policy and informal finance: Is there a pecking order?," MPRA Paper 65243, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Bhavnani, Rikhil R. & Lacina, Bethany, 2017. "Fiscal Federalism at Work? Central Responses to Internal Migration in India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 236-248.
    5. Deepak Sethia, 2016. "Regional Accounts of India: Methods, New Estimates, and Their Uses," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 62(1), pages 92-119, March.
    6. Mukherji, Arnab & Mukherji, Anjan, 2012. "Bihar: What Went Wrong? And What Changed?," Working Papers 12/107, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.
    7. Garg, Sandya & Ashima Goyal & Rupayan Pal, 2014. "Why tax effort falls short of capacity in Indian states: A Stochastic frontier approach," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2014-032, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    8. Janet G Stotsky & Asad Zaman, 2017. "The Influence of Gender Budgeting in Indian States on Gender Inequality and Fiscal Spending," Working Papers id:11587, eSocialSciences.

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