Rohini Pande

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

This paper uses data on elected village councils in South India to examine the political economy of public resource allocation. We found that the pattern of policy-making reflects politicians' self-interest. Elected councillors benefit from improved personal access to public resources. In addition, the head councillor's group identity and residence influences public resource allocation. While electoral incentives do not eliminate politician opportunism, voters appear able to use their electoral clout to gain greater access to public resources.

Political Economy of Panchayats in South India

Based on a study of some 500 villages in the four southern Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, this paper examines how the functioning of the Panchayat system mandated by the 73rd amendment to the Constitution has had an impact on the economic status of villages and the households within them. Read more »

Powerful Women: Does Exposure Reduce Bias?

We exploit random assignment of gender quotas across Indian village councils to investigate
whether having a female chief councillor affects public opinion towards female leaders.
Villagers who have never been required to have a female leader prefer male leaders and perceive
hypothetical female leaders as less effective than their male counterparts, when stated
performance is identical. Exposure to a female leader does not alter villagers' taste preference
for male leaders. However, it weakens stereotypes about gender roles in the public Read more »

Political Selection and the Quality of Government: Evidence from South India

This paper uses household data from India to examine who is elected to village public office and how they target resources once they are there. We have three key findings. First, the political class is selected on the basis of political connections and economic advantage. Second, in targeting public resources politicians exhibit group preferences and opportunism. Read more »

The Politics of Public Good Provision: Evidence from Indian Local Governments

This paper uses village and household survey data from South India to examine how political geography and politician identity impacts on public good provision. We provide evidence that the nature of this relationship varies by type of public goods. For high spill-over public goods residential proximity to elected representative matters. Read more »

Participatory Democracy in Action: Survey Evidence from South India

We use household and village survey data from South India to examine who participates in village meetings called by elected local governments, and what effect these meetings have on beneficiary selection for welfare programs. Read more »