Centre for Development Economics
Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics


Decentralization and decision-making in Karnataka – who speaks for the poor?


Jeffrey S. Hammer

Princeton University

Thursday, 24th October 2013 at 3:00 PM

Venue : Seminar Room (First Floor)
Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics

All are cordially invited


Who is more aware of peoples’ preferences: elected leaders or local officials employed by the state to administer programs for their benefit? Using a baseline survey for a study to evaluate a project that gives untied grants to local government in the poorer areas of Karnataka we find that¬†elected leaders’ priorities over alternatives for spending public money are much closer to those of villagers, especially of poorer villagers, than are those of the state representatives. They are also very much closer than those found by focus groups done by NGO’s employed for the task. The paper develops measures of preferences, their similarity between people and explanations for this similarity.


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