Wednesday, August 23, 2017

1 September 2017: The Cost of Distance: Geography and Governance in Rural India

Karan Nagpal
University of Oxford

Rural economic outcomes deteriorate with distance from cities and towns. We use a spatial regression discontinuity design to provide causal evidence for one channel through which this effect operates: the geography of public administration. Using a rich spatial dataset on Indian villages and their local administrative capitals, we show that a greater distance from capitals reduces the provision of public goods. More distant villages also have lower literacy rates and reduced participation in non-farm activities. To estimate these effects causally, we exploit administrative boundaries that generate sharp jumps in distance to local administration capitals, but not in conventional measures of market access such as distance to towns and highways and population density. We discuss a number of mechanisms that explain these results, including monitoring and provision costs, information asymmetries and citizen voice.

Date: September 1, 2017
Time: 04:30 P.M.

Conference Hall, Ground Floor
R&T Building
National Institute of Public Finance and Policy,
18/2 Satsang Vihar Marg, Special Institutional Area,
New Delhi-110067(INDIA)


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