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

  • Betancourt, Roger
  • Gleason, Suzanne

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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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

Volume (Year): 28 (2000)
Issue (Month): 12 (December)
Pages: 2169-2182

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Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:28:y:2000:i:12:p:2169-2182
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Tao Zhang & Heng-fu Zou, 1996. "Fiscal decentralization, public spending, and economic growth in China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1608, The World Bank.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Yingyi Qian & Barry R. Weingast, 1997. "Federalism as a Commitment to Reserving Market Incentives," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 83-92, Fall.
  8. 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.
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