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Weekly Economics Seminar by Shabana Mitra

November 20, 2019 @ 1:30 pm - 2:50 pm

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Event Details

Title: Dictatorship and the Provision of Public Goods

Speaker: Shabana Mitra, Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Management- Bangalore

Abstract: This paper examines the nature and scope of public policy in non-democracies. We use the Partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947 to examine how similar ethnic groups living in similar agro-climatic conditions Рwhen exposed to different governance regimes Рobtain substantially different configurations of public goods. Our methodology draws upon the shifts in the central regime in Pakistan, between popularly elected governments and military dictatorships, with India providing a benchmark with democratic governments throughout. We create and utilise a novel dataset for our district-level analyses from various census rounds in India and Pakistan. Our regression results consistently show that there is a significant under-provision of various public goods under dictatorships, while controlling for a host of time-varying local factors. The effects are statistically significant and economically meaningful for primary, middle and secondary schools and for hospitals and health centres. Our results survive a battery of robustness checks and are particularly, not driven by large cities, or specific provinces.


November 20, 2019
1:30 pm - 2:50 pm


Department of Economics


AC 02 LR 105