Research Project

Politics and Development in India: A micro-level study of who gets what, when, and how (PoDevInd)

2013 - 2017 (Completed) Project number: 225905/H30

The primary objective of the project is to study the relationship between electoral dynamics and development in Indian villages 2001-2011.

Despite a dramatic growth in development in India at the aggregate level, there is great variation in development outcomes at the local level. The delivery of public goods are hampered by corruption and inefficiency, and in some villages nothing is done, while in others development projects are implemented as planned. This variation in implementation, we argue, can be attributed to politicians and bureaucrats prioritizing some areas over others. It is often assumed that politicians in India work more for co-ethnics.

We argue that the uneven public goods delivery is driven by political incentives, and that politicians are probably working harder for villages that voted for them, that have a high turnout, or are competitive. By combining the data efforts of the three collaborating partners from the USA, India and Norway, we intend to test these claims on unique village-level data from across India. The findings will contribute to discussions about the variation in development across India and about what motivates political actors.

Watch the book launch seminar for Francesca Jensenius' 2017 publication Social Justice through Inclusion -The Consequences of Electoral Quotas in India:


Research Council of Norway

Funding program