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Public Good Provision in Indian Rural Areas: The Returns to Collective Action by Microfinance Groups

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  • Zaki Wahhaj
  • Lore Vandewalle
  • Paolo Casini

Abstract

Self-help groups (SHGs) are the most common form of microfinance in India. The authors provide evidence that SHGs, composed of women only, undertake collective actions for the provision of public goods within village communities. Using a theoretical model, this paper shows that an elected official, whose aim is to maximize re-election chances, exerts higher effort in providing public goods when private citizens undertake collective action and coordinate their voluntary contributions towards the same goods. This effect occurs although government and private contributions are assumed to be substitutes in the technology of providing public goods.

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  • Zaki Wahhaj & Lore Vandewalle & Paolo Casini, 2015. "Public Good Provision in Indian Rural Areas: The Returns to Collective Action by Microfinance Groups," Working Papers id:7582, eSocialSciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:7582
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    Cited by:

    1. Jean-Marie Baland & Timothée Demont & Rohini Somanathan, 2020. "Child Labor and Schooling Decisions among Self-Help Group Members in Rural India," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69(1), pages 73-105.
    2. Ban, Radu & Gilligan, Michael J. & Rieger, Matthias, 2020. "Self-help groups, savings and social capital: Evidence from a field experiment in Cambodia," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 180(C), pages 174-200.
    3. Desai, Raj M. & Olofsgård, Anders, 2019. "Can the poor organize? Public goods and self-help groups in rural India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 33-52.
    4. Jean-Marie Baland & Rohini Somanathan & Lore Vandewalle, 2019. "Socially Disadvantaged Groups and Microfinance in India," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 67(3), pages 537-569.
    5. Bathla, S. & Bhattacharya, P. & D'Souza, Anna, 2015. "India’s National Food Security Act 2013: Food Distribution through Revamped Public Distribution System or Food Stamps and Cash Transfers?," Agricultural Economics Research Review, Agricultural Economics Research Association (India), vol. 28(1).
    6. Brian P. Greaney & Joseph P. Kaboski & Eva Van Leemput, 2016. "Can Self-Help Groups Really Be "Self-Help"?," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 83(4), pages 1614-1644.
    7. Vandewalle, Lore, 2017. "The Role of Accountants in Indian Self-Help Groups: A Trade-off between Financial and Non-Financial Benefits," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 177-192.
    8. Anirban Pal & Piyush Kumar Singh, 2021. "Do socially motivated self‐help groups perform better? Exploring determinants of micro‐credit groups’ performance in Eastern India," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 92(1), pages 119-146, March.
    9. Demont, Timothée, 2022. "Coping with shocks: How Self-Help Groups impact food security and seasonal migration," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 155(C).
    10. Raj M. Desai & Shareen Joshi, 2014. "Collective Action and Community Development: Evidence from Self-Help Groups in Rural India," The World Bank Economic Review, World Bank, vol. 28(3), pages 492-524.
    11. Cassan, Guilhem & Vandewalle, Lore, 2021. "Identities and public policies: Unexpected effects of political reservations for women in India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    12. Guilhem Cassan & Lore Vandewalle, 2017. "Identities and Public Policies: Unintended Effects of Political Reservations for Women in India," IHEID Working Papers 18-2017, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
    13. Timothée Demont, 2020. "Coping with shocks: the impact of Self-Help Groups on migration and food security," Working Papers halshs-02571730, HAL.
    14. Kwarteng Amaning Theophilus & Sarfo-Mensah Paul, 2019. "The impact of savings groups on female agency: insights from village savings and loans associations in Northern Ghana," Asian Journal of Agriculture and rural Development, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 9(2), pages 133-146, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Self-Help Groups; Microfinance; Public Goods; Elections; Collective Actions; Finance and Financial Sector Development; Law and Development; Macroeconomics and Economic Growth; Social Development;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance

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