Decentralisation, clientelism and social protection programmes: a study of India’s MGNREGA
journal contributionposted on 23.05.2018, 07:55 by Diego Maiorano, Upasak Das, Silvia Masiero
Does decentralisation promote clientelism? If yes, through which mechanisms? We answer these questions through an analysis of India’s (and the world’s) largest workfare programme, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), in two Indian states: Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh (AP). The two states adopted radically different implementation models: Rajasthan’s decentralised one stands in contrast with Andhra Pradesh’s centralised and bureaucracy-led model. Using a mixed method approach, we find that in both states local implementers have incentives to distribute MGNREGA work in a clientelistic fashion. However, in Rajasthan, these incentives are stronger, because of the decentralised implementation model. Accordingly, our quantitative evidence shows that clientelism is more serious a problem in Rajasthan than in AP.
This work was supported by the University of Liege Research Council (International Postdoctoral fellowship scheme 2014), the Leverhulme Trust [grant number ECF 2015-244] and the Swedish Research Council [grant number 2015-01245].
- Business and Economics