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Partisan politics and intergovernmental transfers in India

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  • Khemani, Stuti

Abstract

Recently there has been a surge in international empirical evidence that national policymakers allocate resources across regions based on political considerations, in addition to any normative considerations of equity and efficiency. In order to mitigate these political compulsions, several federations around the world have attempted to create independent constitutional bodies that are responsible for determining federal transfers to subnational jurisdictions. The author tests whether constitutional rules indeed make a difference in curbing political influence by contrasting the impact of political variables on two types of intergovernmental transfers to states in the Indian federation over a period of time, 1972-95. The pattern of evidence shows that transfers, whose regional distribution is determined by political agents, usually provide greater resources to state governments that are politically affiliated with the national ruling party and are important in maximizing the party's representation in the national legislature. But the political effect on statutory transfers, determined by an independent agency with constitutional authority, is strikingly contrary, with greater resources going to unaffiliated state governments. The author argues that this contrasting evidence indicates that constitutional rules indeed restrict the extent to which partisan politics can affect resources available to subnational governments.

Suggested Citation

  • Khemani, Stuti, 2003. "Partisan politics and intergovernmental transfers in India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3016, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3016
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Solé-Ollé, Albert & Sorribas-Navarro, Pilar, 2008. "The effects of partisan alignment on the allocation of intergovernmental transfers. Differences-in-differences estimates for Spain," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(12), pages 2302-2319, December.
    2. Sengupta, Bodhisattva, 2011. "Provision of public goods in a federal economy: The role of party politics," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 104-119, March.
    3. Albert Sole-Olle & Pilar Sorribas-Navarro, 2008. "Does partisan alignment affect the electoral reward of intergovernmental transfers?," Working Papers in Economics 206, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
    4. Guccio, Calogero & Mazza, Isidoro, 2014. "On the political determinants of the allocation of funds to heritage authorities," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 18-38.
    5. Pablo Simon-Cosano & Santiago Lago-Peñas & Alberto Vaquero, 2014. "On the Political Determinants of Intergovernmental Grants in Decentralized Countries: The Case of Spain," Publius: The Journal of Federalism, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(1), pages 135-156, January.
    6. Sarmistha Pal & Sugata Ghosh, 2006. "Elite Dominance and Under-investment in Mass Education: Disparity in the Social Development of the Indian States, 1960-92," CEDI Discussion Paper Series 06-05, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.
    7. McIntosh Craig & Allen Jacob, 2009. "Using the Error in Pre-Election Polls to Test for the Presence of Pork," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-37, March.
    8. Pal, Sarmistha & Ghosh, Sugata, 2008. "The Elite and the Marginalised: An Analysis of Public Spending on Mass Education in the Indian States," IZA Discussion Papers 3707, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Reingewertz, Yaniv, 2014. "Fiscal Decentralization - a Survey of the Empirical Literature," MPRA Paper 59889, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Bagchi, Amaresh & Chakraborty, Pinaki, 2004. "Towards a rational system of centre-state revenue transfers in India: An exploration," Working Papers 04/16, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.
    11. Khemani, Stuti, 2007. "Does delegation of fiscal policy to an independent agency make a difference? Evidence from intergovernmental transfers in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 464-484, March.
    12. Padovano, Fabio, 2012. "The drivers of interregional policy choices: Evidence from Italy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 324-340.
    13. Sorribas-Navarro, Pilar, 2011. "Bailouts in a fiscal federal system: Evidence from Spain," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 154-170, March.
    14. Banful, Afua Branoah, 2010. "Old problems in the new solutions?," IFPRI discussion papers 1002, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    15. Khemani, Stuti, 2004. "Political cycles in a developing economy: effect of elections in the Indian States," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 125-154, February.
    16. Rajashri Chakrabarti, 2005. "Gains from a Redrawing of Political Boundaries: Evidence from State Reorganization in India," Others 0512002, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. World Bank, 2004. "Stabilization and Fiscal Empowerment : The Twin Challenges Facing India's States, Volume 2. Detailed Report," World Bank Other Operational Studies 16775, The World Bank.
    18. Khemani, Stuti, 2002. "Federal politics and budget deficits: evidence from the states of India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2915, The World Bank.
    19. Pierre André & Paul Maarek & Fatoumata Tapo, 2018. "Ethnic Favoritism: Winner Takes All or Power Sharing? Evidence from school constructions in Benin," THEMA Working Papers 2018-03, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    20. Muinelo-Gallo, Leonel & Rodriguez-Miranda, Adrián & Castro-Scavone, Pablo, 2017. "Intergovernmental transfers and regional income inequalities in Uruguay," MPRA Paper 76983, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    21. Banful, Afua Branoah, 2009. "Do institutions limit clientelism?: A study of the district assemblies common fund in Ghana," IFPRI discussion papers 855, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    22. Khemani,Stuti, 2000. "Political cycles in a developing economy - effect of elections in Indian States," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2454, The World Bank.
    23. Ikuho Kochi & Raúl A. Ponce Rodríguez, 2011. "Voting in federal elections for local public goods in a fiscally centralized economy," Estudios Económicos, El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Económicos, vol. 26(1), pages 123-149.

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