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Decentralization, Democracy and Allocation of Poverty Alleviation Programs in Rural India

Author

Listed:
  • Takahiro Sato

    (Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration (RIEB), Kobe University, Japan)

  • Katsushi S. Imai

    (Economics, School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester (UK) and RIEB, Kobe University (Japan))

Abstract

This paper investigates the effect of the devolution of power to the village level government on the household-level allocation of poverty alleviation programs drawing upon National Sample Survey data and the Election Commission's election data. First, greater inequality in land-holdings and less competition between the two major political parties generally lead to less provision of the poverty alleviation programs. Second, the disadvantaged groups were not necessarily likely to be the primary beneficiaries of the poverty alleviation programs. Third, our results based on the natural experiment approach suggest that decentralisation did not lead to wider household access to poverty alleviation programmes during the 1990s. Our results imply the possibility that the power and resources were captured by the local elite after decentralisation, that is, decentralization did not necessarily contribute to the improvement of the welfare of the socially disadvantaged groups.

Suggested Citation

  • Takahiro Sato & Katsushi S. Imai, 2010. "Decentralization, Democracy and Allocation of Poverty Alleviation Programs in Rural India," Discussion Paper Series DP2010-21, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
  • Handle: RePEc:kob:dpaper:dp2010-21
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Decentralization; Democracy; Poverty Alleviation Programs; Poverty; IRDP (Integrated Rural Development Programme); RPW (Rural Public Works); India;

    JEL classification:

    • C20 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - General
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • O22 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Project Analysis
    • P46 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Consumer Economics; Health; Education and Training; Welfare, Income, Wealth, and Poverty

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