Journal Article

Just Rewards? Local Politics and Public Resource Allocation in South India

Timothy Besley, Rohini Pande and Vijayendra Rao

in The World Bank Economic Review

Volume 26, issue 2, pages 191-216
Published in print June 2012 | ISSN: 0258-6770
Published online October 2011 | e-ISSN: 1564-698X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/wber/lhr039
Just Rewards? Local Politics and Public Resource Allocation in South India

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  • Regional Government Analysis
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What factors determine the nature of political opportunism in local government in South India? To answer this question, we study two types of policy decisions that have been delegated to local politicians—beneficiary selection for transfer programs and the allocation of within-village public goods. Our data on village councils in South India show that, relative to other citizens, elected councillors are more likely to be selected as beneficiaries of a large transfer program. The chief councillor's village also obtains more public goods, relative to other villages. These findings can be interpreted using a simple model of the logic of political incentives in the context that we study.

Keywords: R51; H11; H72

Journal Article.  10636 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Regional Government Analysis ; Public Economics

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