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

Roger R. Betancourt and Suzanne Gleason, World Development 28(12), 2169-2182, December .


What determines the allocation of publicly-provided goods to rural households in India? Although empirically driven this paper draws 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 framework with a unique data set which brings together widely used district data with a recently constructed data set on political participation. We identify three robust determinants of this allocation process: formal and informal characteristics of each state allocation mechanism; selectivity in the allocations against Muslims and scheduled castes; and bureaucratic rules and behavior.

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