IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cep/stidep/28.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Political Economy of Government Responsiveness: Theory and Evidence from India

Author

Listed:
  • Timothy Besley
  • Robin Burgess

Abstract

Gaps in welfare attainment between boys and girls in China have attracted international attention. In this paper demand analysis is used to try and uncover the factors which may be driving the emergence of the gender gaps. Drawing on household expenditure data from a poor (Sichuan) and rich (Jiangsu) Chinese province we are able to test for different types of gender bias in intra-household allocation. Spending on health is found to be biased against young girls in the poor but not in the rich province, whereas there is a bias in education spending against older girls in both provinces. These biases in household spending were found to correspond to gender biases in mortality and enrolment outcomes as revealed in census data for the same year. Split sample analysis reveals that poorer, less diversified households exhibit stronger biases against girls. Taken together, the results suggest that son preference in rural China is not driven solely by cultural factors pointing to a potential role for public policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2000. "The Political Economy of Government Responsiveness: Theory and Evidence from India," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 28, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:stidep:28
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/dps/de/dedps28a.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. La Ferrara, Eliana, 2002. "Inequality and group participation: theory and evidence from rural Tanzania," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 235-273, August.
    2. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1243-1284.
    3. Edward Miguel, 2001. "Ethnic Diversity and School Funding in Kenya," HEW 0012001, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Narayan, Deepa & Pritchett, Lant, 1999. "Cents and Sociability: Household Income and Social Capital in Rural Tanzania," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(4), pages 871-897, July.
    5. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 2003. "Elected Versus Appointed Regulators: Theory and Evidence," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1176-1206, September.
    6. Ahluwalia, Deepak, 1993. "Public distribution of food in India : Coverage, targeting and leakages," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 33-54, February.
    7. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2000. "Land Reform, Poverty Reduction, and Growth: Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 389-430.
    8. Holbrook, Thomas M. & Van Dunk, Emily, 1993. "Electoral Competition in the American States," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 87(4), pages 955-962, December.
    9. David Strömberg, 2004. "Radio's Impact on Public Spending," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 189-221.
    10. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 1995. "Does Electoral Accountability Affect Economic Policy Choices? Evidence from Gubernatorial Term Limits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 769-798.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Miguel, Edward A. & Gertler, Paul & Levine, David I., 2003. "Did Industrialization Destroy Social Capital in Indonesia?," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt9kt2m860, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    2. repec:dau:papers:123456789/11437 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Clots-Figueras, Irma, 2011. "Women in politics: Evidence from the Indian States," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 664-690, August.
    4. Haddad, Lawrence James & Maluccio, John A., 2002. "Trust, membership in groups, and household welfare," FCND briefs 135, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Patricia Justino, 2022. "Revisiting the links between economic inequality and political violence: The role of social mobilization," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2022-19, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    6. Keefer, Philip & Khemani, Stuti, 2003. "Democracy, public expenditures, and the poor," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3164, The World Bank.
    7. Mark Gradstein & Moshe Justman, 2002. "Education, Social Cohesion, and Economic Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1192-1204, September.
    8. Arze del Granado, F. Javier & Martinez-Vazquez, Jorge & McNab, Robert M., 2012. "Decentralized Governance and Preferences for Public Goods," MPRA Paper 42459, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Filipe R. Campante & Quoc-Anh Do, 2014. "Isolated Capital Cities, Accountability, and Corruption: Evidence from US States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(8), pages 2456-2481, August.
    10. Easterly, William, 2001. "The Middle Class Consensus and Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 317-335, December.
    11. Philip Keefer & Stephen Knack, 2008. "Social Capital, Social Norms and the New Institutional Economics," Springer Books, in: Claude Ménard & Mary M. Shirley (ed.), Handbook of New Institutional Economics, chapter 27, pages 701-725, Springer.
    12. Khemani, Stuti & Wane, Waly, 2008. "Populist fiscal policy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4762, The World Bank.
    13. Bandiera, Oriana & Levy, Gilat, 2010. "Diversity and the Power of the Elites in Democratic Societies: A model and a test," CEPR Discussion Papers 7985, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. Ignacio Lago & Sandra Bermúdez & Marc Guinjoan & Pablo Simón, 2014. "Turnout and fractionalization," Working Papers. Collection A: Public economics, governance and decentralization 1404, Universidade de Vigo, GEN - Governance and Economics research Network.
    15. Ash, Elliott & MacLeod, W. Bentley, 2021. "Reducing partisanship in judicial elections can improve judge quality: Evidence from U.S. state supreme courts," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 201(C).
    16. 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.
    17. Khwaja, Asim Ijaz, 2001. "Can Good Projects Succeed in Bad Communities? Collective Action in the Himalayas," Working Paper Series rwp01-043, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    18. Schady, Norbert R., 2001. "Who participates : the supply of volunteer labor and the distribution of government programs in rural Peru," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2671, The World Bank.
    19. Skoufias, Emmanuel & Narayan, Ambar & Dasgupta, Basab & Kaiser, Kai, 2014. "Electoral accountability and local government spending in Indonesia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6782, The World Bank.
    20. Bouma, Jetske & Bulte, Erwin & van Soest, Daan, 2008. "Trust and cooperation: Social capital and community resource management," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 155-166, September.
    21. Teferi Mergo & Alain-Desire Nimubona & Horatiu Rus, 2019. "Political Representation and the Provision of Public Goods: Theory and Evidence from Ethiopia," Working Papers 1901, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2019.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Modernisation; son preference; intra-household allocation; demand analysis; China.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • P26 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Political Economy

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:cep:stidep:28. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/ .

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/ .

    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.