'Political Reservation and Allocation of Public Goods'

Professor Vivekananda Mukherjee
Monday 5 Nov 2018, 16:00 - 17:00
International Institute of Social Studies
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Vivekananda Mukherjee - portrait

Professor Vivekananda Mukherjee has been invited as a speaker for the Development Economics seminar at the International Institute of Social Studies to discuss political reservation in India.

The political economy view of the governments argues that the award of political reservation to a community benefits the members of that community the most. The argument has found an application in India where political reservation has been forwarded to the scheduled caste and scheduled tribe communities, the most oppressed communities in the Hindu hierarchical caste system prevalent in the country.

Vivekananda Mukherjee's paper studies the effect of the political reservation given to these communities to the position of the chief of the local governments on allocation of two types of public goods: the household specific public goods and the village specific public goods.

First, Mukherjee constructs a theory to show that in our context the prediction of the conventional political economy theory may not always hold; in other words, the political reservation to the post of chief of the local government may neither benefit the chief’s community nor her village.

He tests the theoretical predictions of our model with the data collected through a primary survey conducted at two local governments in the state of West Bengal in India and finds support for the theory. Mukherjee notes that the effect of political reservation can vary not only between the categories of public goods, but also within the categories.  

About the author

Vivekananda Mukherjee is a Professor at Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India. His main research areas are Microeconomics, Public Economics, Economics of Corruption, he also teaches these subjects at Jadavpur University.

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