Impact of governance on bribery and welfare: the case of rural India

Crawford School of Public Policy | Arndt-Corden Department of Economics | Australia South Asia Research Centre

Event details


Date & time

Tuesday 04 September 2018


Coombs Extension Lt 1.04, Building #8, Fellows Road, ANU


Raghbendra Jha, ANU


Ross McLeod

Participation in welfare programs administered by local government (Panchayats) is a significant source of consumption expenditure for households in rural India. In the context of imperfect local governance, we hypothesize that access to such programs may be limited, thus creating incentives for households to bribe in order to gain access. Using a nationally representative household dataset, we jointly estimate determinants of bribes, participation in welfare programs, and consequent change in economic welfare of households. We show that bribing improves program participation and household consumption. This is particularly the case for poor households, who boost their consumption via bribe-induced program participation. Implications for policy in terms of improvements in local governance are considered as measures to reduce incidence of bribery.

This is a joint ACDE-ASARC seminar.

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