Besley, Timothy and Burgess, Robin
The political economy of government responsiveness: theory and evidence from India.
Development Economics discussion paper; DEDPS 28,
Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.
The determinants of government responsiveness to its citizens is a key issue in political economy. Here we develop a model based on the solution of political agency problems. Having a more informed an politically active electorate strengthens incentives for governments to be responsive. This suggests that there is a role both for democratic institutions and the mass media in ensuring that the preferences of citizens are reflected in policy. The ideas behind the model are tested on panel data from India. We show that public food distribution and calamity relief expenditure are greater, controlling for shocks, where governments face greater electoral accountability and where newspaper circulation is highest.
||© 2000 the authors
||government responsiveness, mass media, political economy, political agency, political accountability, democracy, social protection, disaster relief, public food distribution
|Library of Congress subject classification:
||J Political Science > JC Political theory
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
|Journal of Economic Literature Classification System:
||D - Microeconomics > D7 - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making > D72 - Economic Models of Political Processes: Rent-Seeking, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O12 - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I3 - Welfare and Poverty > I38 - Government Policy; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
P - Economic Systems > P2 - Socialist Systems and Transitional Economies > P26 - Political Economy; Property Rights
H - Public Economics > H4 - Publicly Provided Goods > H41 - Public Goods
H - Public Economics > H1 - Structure and Scope of Government > H11 - Structure, Scope, and Performance of Government
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