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State and Development: The Need for a Reappraisal of the Current Literature

Pranab Bardhan

Journal of Economic Literature, 2016, vol. 54, issue 3, 862-92

Abstract: This essay tries to bring out some of the complexities that are overlooked in the usual treatment of the state in the institutional economics literature and supplement the latter with a discussion of some alternative approaches to looking at the possible developmental role of the state. It refers to a broader range of development goals (including the structural transformation of the economy) and focuses on problems like the resolution of coordination failures and collective-action problems, the conflicting issues of commitment and accountability and the need for balancing the trade-offs they generate, some ingredients of state capacity and political coalition building usually missed in the literature, the possible importance of rent sharing in a political equilibrium, the advantages and problems of political centralization and decentralization, and the multidimensionality of state functions that may not be addressed by markets or private firms.

JEL-codes: D72 H11 H77 K00 O17 O43 P26 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
Note: DOI: 10.1257/jel.20151239
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