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Public Action for Public Goods

Author

Listed:
  • Abhijit Banerjee
  • Lakshmi Iyer
  • Rohini Somanathan

Abstract

This paper focuses on the relationship between public action and access to public goods. It begins by developing a simple model of collective action which is intended to capture the various mechanisms that are discussed in the theoretical literature on collective action. We argue that several of these intuitive theoretical arguments rely on special additional assumptions that are often not made clear. We then review the empirical work based on the predictions of these models of collective action. While the available evidence is generally consistent with these theories, there is a dearth of quality evidence. Moreover, a large part of the variation in access to public goods seems to have nothing to do with the "bottom-up" forces highlighted in these models and instead reflect more "top-down" interventions. We conclude with a discussion of some of the historical evidence on top-down interventions.

Suggested Citation

  • Abhijit Banerjee & Lakshmi Iyer & Rohini Somanathan, 2007. "Public Action for Public Goods," NBER Working Papers 12911, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12911
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    Cited by:

    1. Elise Huillery, 2011. "The Impact of European Settlement within French West Africa: Did Pre-colonial Prosperous Areas Fall Behind?," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 20(2), pages 263-311, March.
    2. Frédéric Lesne, 2013. "School Fees, Parental Participation and Accountability: Evidence from Madagascar," Working Papers halshs-00825244, HAL.
    3. Christophe Muller & Marc Vothknecht, 2011. "Group Violence, Ethnic Diversity, and Citizen Participation: Evidence from Indonesia," Research Working Papers 48, MICROCON - A Micro Level Analysis of Violent Conflict.
    4. Jha, Saumitra, 2014. "‘Unfinished business’: Historic complementarities, political competition and ethnic violence in Gujarat," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 18-36.
    5. Bunte, Jonas B. & Kim, Alisha A., 2017. "Citizens’ Preferences and the Portfolio of Public Goods: Evidence from Nigeria," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 28-39.
    6. Divya Balasubramaniam & Santanu Chatterjee & David B. Mustard, 2014. "Got Water? Social Divisions and Access to Public Goods in Rural India," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 81(321), pages 140-160, January.
    7. Mu, Ren & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2014. "Do elected leaders in a limited democracy have real power? Evidence from rural China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 17-27.
    8. Pal, Sarmistha & Wahhaj, Zaki, 2017. "Fiscal decentralisation, local institutions and public good provision: evidence from Indonesia," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 383-409.
    9. Prerna Singh & Dean Spears, 2017. "How status inequality between ethnic groups affects public goods provision: Experimental evidence on caste and tolerance for teacher absenteeism in India," WIDER Working Paper Series 129, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    10. Temple, Jonathan R.W., 2010. "Aid and Conditionality," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    11. Girard, Victoire, 2011. "The impact of inter-group relationships on intra-group cooperation. A case study in rural India," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 32, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
    12. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00825240 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Elise Huillery, 2010. "The Impact of European Settlement within French West Africa," Post-Print hal-01023805, HAL.
    14. Véronique Gille, 2012. "Education spillovers: empirical evidence in rural India," Indian Growth and Development Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 5(1), pages 4-24, April.
    15. Anil K. Jain, 2017. "Efficient Public Good Provision in Networks : Revisiting the Lindahl Solution," International Finance Discussion Papers 1210, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    16. Mu, Ren & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2011. "The role of elected and appointed village leaders in the allocation of public resources: Evidence from a low-income region in China," IFPRI discussion papers 1061, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    17. Yasuyuki Sawada & Ryuji Kasahara & Keitaro Aoyagi & Masahiro Shoji & Mika Ueyama, 2013. "Modes of Collective Action in Village Economies: Evidence from Natural and Artefactual Field Experiments in a Developing Country," Asian Development Review, MIT Press, vol. 30(1), pages 31-51, March.
    18. Rohini Somanathan, 2016. "Group Inequality in Democracies: Lessons from Cross-national Experiences," Working papers 260, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
    19. Jonathan Gheyssens & Isabel Günther, 2013. "Conditional cooperation among the poor: a new profile?," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 135, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    20. Calzada, Joan & Iranzo Sancho, Susana, 2012. "Neither Private nor Public: The Effects of Communal Provision of Water on Child Health in Peru," Working Papers 2072/196649, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
    21. Gille, Véronique, 2011. "Education spillovers in farm productivity: empirical evidence in rural India," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 31, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
    22. Raghbendra Jha & Hari Nagarajan & Kailash C.Pradhan, 2013. "The role of bribes in rural governance: The case of India," ASARC Working Papers 2013-03, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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