Dictatorship and the Provision of Public Goods

29 Pages Posted: 16 Oct 2019

See all articles by T. M. Tonmoy Islam

T. M. Tonmoy Islam

Elon University

Anirban Mitra

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Shabana Mitra

Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore

Date Written: September 2019

Abstract

This paper examines the nature and scope of public policy in non-democracies. We use the Partition of the Indian sub-continent in 1947 to examine how similar ethnic groups living in similar agro-climatic conditions - when exposed to different governance regimes - obtain substantially different configurations of public goods. Our methodology draws upon the shifts in the central regime in Pakistan, between popularly elected governments and military dictatorships, with India providing a benchmark with democratic governments throughout. We create and utilise a novel dataset for our district-level analyses from various census rounds in India and Pakistan. Our regression results consistently show that there is a significant under-provision of various public goods under dictatorships, while controlling for a host of time-varying local factors. The effects are statistically significant and economically meaningful for primary, middle and secondary schools and for hospitals and health centres. Our results survive a battery of robustness checks and are particularly, not driven by large cities, or specific provinces.

Keywords: Institutions, Dictatorship, Political Regimes, Public Goods, India, Pakistan

JEL Classification: D12, D72, H40

Suggested Citation

Islam, T. M. Tonmoy and Mitra, Anirban and Mitra, Shabana, Dictatorship and the Provision of Public Goods (September 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3465005 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3465005

T. M. Tonmoy Islam

Elon University ( email )

Elon, NC 27244
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.tmtonmoyislam.com

Anirban Mitra

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Shabana Mitra (Contact Author)

Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore ( email )

Bannerghatta Road
Bangalore, Karnataka 560076
India

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