The National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in Rajasthan: Rationed Funds and their Allocation across Villages

ESID Working Paper No 35

28 Pages Posted: 7 Jan 2015 Last revised: 11 Feb 2015

See all articles by Himanshu

Himanshu

Jawaharlal Nehru University

Abhiroop Mukhopadhyay

Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi - Delhi Centre

M.R. Sharan

Jameel Poverty Action Lab (JPAL)

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 6, 2015

Abstract

The performance of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) in Rajasthan has been a matter of debate, both for its stupendous performance in the initial years of the scheme, but also for the relative sharp decline after 2010. Using a large primary survey collected from a representative sample across districts, this paper shows that the decline in performance of NREGS in Rajasthan is not entirely due to the lack of demand. Instead, the supply-driven, top-down nature of the programme has led to a ‘discouraged worker’ syndrome, with workers showing disinterest in demanding work and passively waiting for availability of NREGS work. In this context, we show the role of elected representatives in allocating work to households. We find evidence of the significant influence of Sarpanches in deciding work allocation across villages. Using a sample of 328 villages in 75 multi-village Panchayats, we find evidence of rationing in favour of the village where the Sarpanch resides. Strengthening the demand-based nature of NREGS may reduce the need for rationing. Our results also suggest that a simple temporal tracking of NREGS outcomes at the village level, along with proper recording of demand through the MIS (management information system), may help detect discrimination within Panchayats.

Keywords: NREGS, India, political economy

Suggested Citation

Himanshu and Mukhopadhyay, Abhiroop and Sharan, M.R., The National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in Rajasthan: Rationed Funds and their Allocation across Villages (January 6, 2015). ESID Working Paper No 35, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2545881

Himanshu (Contact Author)

Jawaharlal Nehru University ( email )

Vasant Vihar
Jawaharlal Nehru University
New Delhi, DE Delhi 110067
India

Abhiroop Mukhopadhyay

Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi - Delhi Centre ( email )

7 S .J. S.
Sansanwal Marg
New Delhi, 110016
India

M.R. Sharan

Jameel Poverty Action Lab (JPAL) ( email )

66 bis avenue Jean Moulin
Paris, 75014
France

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
27
Abstract Views
370
PlumX Metrics