اقتصاد سیاسی کالاهای عمومی: برخی شواهد از هند
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|3177||2007||28 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Development Economics, Volume 82, Issue 2, March 2007, Pages 287–314
We are interested in how public goods get allocated by a centralized state. We use data on public goods and social structure from parliamentary constituencies in rural India to understand the allocation of these goods over the 1970s and 1980s. National policies and political agendas during this period emphasized universal access to basic amenities and financed a rapid expansion in rural infrastructure. We find evidence of considerable equalization in many of these facilities, reflecting perhaps the importance of these commitments. Among the historically disadvantaged social groups, those that mobilized themselves politically gained relative to the others. Measures of social heterogeneity that have been emphasized in the recent empirical literature on public goods are relevant but not overwhelming in their importance.
It is well recognized that the nature of political power within societies influences the allocation of public resources. Robert Bates in his well-known studies of the evolution of political power in post-independent Africa showed how the growing power of specific ethnic groups was reflected in the way public resources were used (Bates, 1973, Bates, 1976 and Bates, 1981). In the case of India as well, there is a large literature showing how specific groups (ethnic or otherwise) have increased their political salience and laid claims on the munificence of the state (Rudolph and Rudolph, 1987, Varshney, 1995, Jaffrelot, 2003 and Chandra, 2004).1 A related but distinct literature has examined the role of social heterogeneity on the availability of public goods. Most prominently associated with the work of Alesina et al. (1999), this work focuses not on the fortunes of specific groups but rather on the problems associated with multiple groups and divergent interests. A standard conclusion in this literature is that increased ethnolinguistic fragmentation is associated with reduced access to local public goods, often because it inhibits communities from working collectively to extract public goods from a recalcitrant state.2
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Our study suggests that while social divisions are indeed important, they need not be immutable structures that freeze the economy into permanent underdevelopment. Indian society is among the most divided anywhere, and the roots of these divisions go back thousands of years. Yet there has been progress towards equalization, as evidenced by the broad convergence in access to even those public goods that remain relatively scarce in rural India. Benefits of this expansion in public goods were unevenly distributed among the disadvantaged. In the 1980s the Scheduled Castes established a successful caste-based party and significantly increased their representation in national politics. Our work suggests that they were also able to extract public resources from the state. Muslims, who have long been recognized as socially disadvantaged but have never been the recipients of state-led affirmative action do not seem to have benefitted in the same way. The Scheduled Tribes, whom Myron Weiner refers to as India's largest politically slumbering minority,30 diverged from the rest of society over the period we study. It is possible, however, that this period of Scheduled Tribe backwardness has now ended with the creation of two separate, Scheduled Tribe dominated, states; Jharkhand and Chattisgarh and the greater success of tribal leadership in the recent parliamentary elections. This may, however, be too optimistic a view of the evidence. Convergence has taken place in outcomes that are relatively easy to deliver. Schools are easy to build and new buildings and more teachers can offer bureaucrats opportunities to distribute patronage. Hiring good teachers or getting them to teach well is harder. A similar analysis of the welfare outcomes that are affected by these public goods might suggest a very different picture, because, for example, empty school buildings do not improve education.