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The Allocation of Publicly-Provided Goods to Rural Households in India: On Some Consequences of Caste, Religion and Democracy

  • Roger R. Betancourt

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Maryland)

  • Suzanne Gleason

    ()

    (Massachussetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School)

In this study we address the following question-- what determines the allocation of publicly-provided goods to rural households in India? Our paper is empirically driven but we draw on the characteristics of India's institutional structure and the implications of existing literature for framing the answer to this question. We confront the main empirical implications drawn from this frame of reference with a unique data set for India which brings together the widely used district data with a recently constructed data set on political participation. Our empirical results identify four important determinants of the outcomes of this allocation process: formal and informal characteristics of each state allocation mechanism, selectivity in the allocations against Muslims and scheduled castes; bureaucratic rules and behavior; and characteristics of the electoral participation process.

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Paper provided by University of Maryland, Department of Economics in its series Electronic Working Papers with number 99-004.

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Date of creation: Jun 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:umd:umdeco:99-004
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, University of Maryland, Tydings Hall, College Park, MD 20742
Web page: http://www.econ.umd.edu/

Order Information: Postal: Ms. Elizabeth Martinez, Department of Economics, University of Maryland, Tydings Hall, College Park, MD 20742
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  1. Hamid Davoodi & Heng-fu Zou, 1996. "Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Study," CEMA Working Papers 98, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  2. Deaton, A.S., 1993. "Data and Econometric Tools for Development Analysis," Papers 172, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  3. Tao Zhang & Heng-fu Zou, 1996. "Fiscal decentralization, public spending, and economic growth in China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1608, The World Bank.
  4. Kollman, Ken & Miller, John H & Page, Scott E, 1997. "Political Institutions and Sorting in a Tiebout Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 977-92, December.
  5. Bruno Frey, 1971. "Why do high income people participate more in politics?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 101-105, September.
  6. Yingyi Qian & Barry R. Weingast, 1997. "Federalism as a Commitment to Preserving Market Incentives," Working Papers 97042, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  7. Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
  8. Yifu Lin, Justin & Nugent, Jeffrey B., 1995. "Institutions and economic development," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 38, pages 2301-2370 Elsevier.
  9. Rosenzweig, Mark R., 1988. "Labor markets in low-income countries," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 15, pages 713-762 Elsevier.
  10. Huther, Jeff & Shah, Anwar, 1998. "Applying a simple measure of good governance to the debate on fiscal decentralization," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1894, The World Bank.
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