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The Political economy of MGNREGS spending in Andhra Pradesh


  • Megan Sheahan

    () (Cornell University)

  • Yanyan Liu

    () (International Food Policy Research Institute)

  • Christopher B. Barrett

    () (Cornell University)

  • Sudha Narayanan

    () (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research)


Are ostensibly demand-driven public programs less susceptible to political clientelism even when private goods are allocated? We investigate this conjecture using expenditure data at the local level from India's National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. By focusing on one state where accountability and transparency mechanisms have been employed and implementation efforts have been applauded, we 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 expenditure is explained by the observed needs of potential benficiaries, as the scheme intended.

Suggested Citation

  • Megan Sheahan & Yanyan Liu & Christopher B. Barrett & Sudha Narayanan, 2014. "The Political economy of MGNREGS spending in Andhra Pradesh," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2014-030, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
  • Handle: RePEc:ind:igiwpp:2014-030

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.

    More about this item


    India; political economy; clientelism; project allocation; 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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