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

Roger Betancourt () and Suzanne Gleason ()
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Suzanne Gleason: Massachussetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School

Electronic Working Papers from University of Maryland, Department of Economics

Abstract: 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.

Keywords: Distribution Sector; Allocation of Publicly-provided Goods; Tiebout; Collective Choice; Fiscal Decentralization in Developing Countries; Rural India; Empirical Analysis of Institutions (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H4 D72 O18 O53 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 1999-06
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