IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Political Economy of Village Sanitation in South India: Capture or Poor Information?


  • Radu Ban
  • Monica Das Gupta
  • Vijayendra Rao


Despite efforts to mandate and finance local governments' provision of environmental sanitation services, outcomes remain poor in the villages surveyed in the four South Indian states. The analysis indicates some key issues that appear to hinder improvements in sanitation. Local politicians tend to capture sanitary infrastructure and cleaning services for themselves, while also keeping major village roads reasonably well-served. Their decisions suggest, however, that they neither understand the health benefits of sanitation, nor the negative externalities to their own health if surrounding areas are poorly served. Our findings suggest that improving sanitary outcomes requires disseminating information on the public goods nature of their health benefits, as well as on the local government's responsibilities. It also requires putting public health regulations in place, along with measures to enable accountability in service provision.

Suggested Citation

  • Radu Ban & Monica Das Gupta & Vijayendra Rao, 2010. "The Political Economy of Village Sanitation in South India: Capture or Poor Information?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(4), pages 685-700.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:46:y:2010:i:4:p:685-700
    DOI: 10.1080/00220380903002962

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bardhan, Pranab & Mookherjee, Dilip, 2006. "Pro-poor targeting and accountability of local governments in West Bengal," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 303-327, April.
    2. Dilip Mookherjee & Pranab K. Bardhan, 2000. "Capture and Governance at Local and National Levels," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 135-139, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Platteau, Jean-Philippe & Somville, Vincent & Wahhaj, Zaki, 2014. "Elite capture through information distortion: A theoretical essay," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 250-263.
    2. Patrick Mullen & Divya Nair & Jayati Nigam & Katyayni Seth, 2016. "Urban Health Advantages and Penalties in India," World Bank Other Operational Studies 24025, The World Bank.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:46:y:2010:i:4:p:685-700. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.