Economics, Literature and Scepticism

Powered by Blogger.

About Me

My photo
I am a PhD student in Economics. I am originally from South Africa and plan to return there after my PhD. I completed my M. Comm in Economics and my MA In Creative Writing (Poetry) at the University of Cape Town, where I worked as a lecturer before starting my PhD.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bardhan on West Bengal

Posted by Simon Halliday | Thursday, May 21, 2009 | Category: , |

Yesterday evening, Pranab Bardhan, of UC Berkeley and currently the Fulbright Visiting Professor here at Siena, presented a seminar on a working paper written by him and Dilip Mookherjee.  The work is based on previous research of theirs with 89 villages in West Bengal, India. Previously, their research was about village-level variables and the dynamics that affected the villages.  Recently though, they undertook a household survey in the villages looking at all kinds of phenomena.  The main result of their working paper contradicts Esther Duflo's famous result about reservations for 'Pradhans', or head of the gram panchayat council (A gram panchayat is normally constituted by a group of 4-5 villages). and her co-author, Raghabendra Chattopadhyay, showed in one district of West Bengal that reserving positions for women resulted in better representation of women and improved delivery of goods that were 'favoured by women', specifically improved water access and improved roads.  Bardhan and Mookherjee's recent data, however, show a contradictory result.  Reserved positions for women in West Bengal (their sample covers all 15 districts) do not increase the likelihood that women would be policy-makers or that, when in power, they would promote delivery of access to water or improving roads. 

Now, obviously, Bardhan and Mookherjee would have preferred not to find this result as they are both in favour of transformation in the gram panchayats for both women and other previously disadvantaged groups in West Bengal. But, they suspected that Duflo's result may not hold, and more specifically may that it may not have held after the second election in which the laws had implemented the reservations for women.  The seminar also focused on some other results, but I thought that this was the most important one on which to report.

Currently have 0 comments: