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The political economy of MGNREGS spending in Andhra Pradesh:

Author

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  • Sheahan, Megan
  • Liu, Yanyan
  • Barrett, Christopher B.
  • Narayanan, Sudha

Abstract

While government spending on pro-poor community asset creation and income-transfers could have compounding positive effects on poverty reduction, it is important to first study trends in the allocation of funds, particularly as they relate to the susceptibility of the program to political clientelism. This paper uses expenditure data at the local level in Andhra Pradesh from India’s National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, a rights-based program distributing both public and private goods, to investigate the relationship between voting outcomes and program intensity in the seven years straddling a major election. By focusing on one state where accountability and transparency mechanisms have been employed and implementation efforts have been applauded, the authors do not find evidence of blatant vote buying before the 2009 election but do find that patronage played a small part in fund distribution after the 2009 election. Indeed most variation in expenditures is explained by the observed needs of potential beneficiaries, as the scheme intended.

Suggested Citation

  • Sheahan, Megan & Liu, Yanyan & Barrett, Christopher B. & Narayanan, Sudha, 2014. "The political economy of MGNREGS spending in Andhra Pradesh:," IFPRI discussion papers 1371, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:1371
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    Cited by:

    1. Chau, Nancy H. & Liu, Yanyan & Soundararajan, Vidhya, 2018. "Political Activism as a Determinant of Clientelistic Transfers: Evidence from an Indian Public Works Program," IZA Discussion Papers 11277, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Farzana Afridi & Abhiroop Mukhopadhyay & Soham Sahoo, 2016. "Female labor force participation and child education in India: evidence from the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme," IZA Journal of Labor & Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-27, December.
    3. Sheahan, Megan & Liu, Yanyan & Narayanan, Sudha & Barrett, Christopher B., 2015. "Disaggregated labor supply implications of guaranteed employment in India," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 237345, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    4. Chau, Nancy H. & Liu, Yanyan & Soundararajan, Vidhya, 2017. "Political activism as a determinant of clientelistic transfers: Evidence from an Indian public works program:," IFPRI discussion papers 1700, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public policy; Governance; Poverty; rural areas; rural population; social safety nets; social protection; Political economy; clientelism; project allocation; Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee;

    JEL classification:

    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • H42 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Private Goods
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • H54 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Infrastructures
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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