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Quantifying Spatial Mislocation in Centrally Provided Public Goods

  • Rohini Somanathan


  • Siva Athreya


In this paper they show how an optimization algorithm can be used to approximately quantify the costs to users of spatial misallocation in centrally provided public goods. This method can be employed to evaluate the large programs of public good construction that have been central features of economic plans in many developing countries. They apply these methods to the allocation of post-offices in an administrative block of South India between1981-1991and find that more appropriate choices for post office locations could have reduced aggregate costs of travel to citizens in this area by at least20%. [Working Paper No. 148]

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Paper provided by eSocialSciences in its series Working Papers with number id:2890.

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Date of creation: Sep 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:2890
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  1. Knight, Brian, 2004. "Parochial interests and the centralized provision of local public goods: evidence from congressional voting on transportation projects," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 845-866, March.
  2. 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.
  3. Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William & Alesina, Alberto, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," Scholarly Articles 4551797, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Esther Duflo, 2000. "Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment," NBER Working Papers 7860, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Banerjee, Abhijit & Somanathan, Rohini, 2007. "The political economy of public goods: Some evidence from India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 287-314, March.
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