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Temporal variation of capture of anti-poverty programs: rural public works and food for work programs in rural India

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  • Raghbendra Jha
  • Sambit Bhattacharyya
  • Raghav Gaiha

Abstract

Using National Sample Survey data for rural India we examine the incidence of capture in two workfare programs in rural India: the Rural Public Works and the Food for Work Programs for 1993-1994 and 2004-2005 respectively. We discover a high degree of program capture among the general population. Among the traditionally backward groups in Indian rural society - but with considerable variation in their living standards - there appears to be a higher degree of capture among SC (Scheduled Castes), than among ST (Scheduled Tribes). Targeting among SC worsened over time. There was an increase in capture by the fourth quintile (of household per capita expenditure) of SC, ST and landowners. This may be reflective of a varying degree of collusion between the elite and the program implementing agencies (e.g. village councils) over time. Thus, potential benefits of workfare get undermined. We also provide evidence to suggest that income-based targeting could outperform social group based targeting.

Suggested Citation

  • Raghbendra Jha & Sambit Bhattacharyya & Raghav Gaiha, 2011. "Temporal variation of capture of anti-poverty programs: rural public works and food for work programs in rural India," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(3), pages 349-362.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:irapec:v:25:y:2011:i:3:p:349-362
    DOI: 10.1080/02692171.2010.511169
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Crook,Richard C. & Manor,James, 1998. "Democracy and Decentralisation in South Asia and West Africa," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521631570, March.
    2. Crook,Richard C. & Manor,James, 1998. "Democracy and Decentralisation in South Asia and West Africa," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521636476, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sushanta K. Mallick, 2014. "Disentangling the Poverty Effects of Sectoral Output, Prices, and Policies in India," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 60(4), pages 773-801, December.
    2. Raghbendra Jha & Hari K. Nagarajan & Kailash C. Pradhan, 2011. "Bribing to Circumvent Capture and Facilitate Participation in Social Programs: Evidence from Indian Villages," ASARC Working Papers 2011-13, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.

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    Keywords

    capture; poverty; India;

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