Vested Interests: Examining the Political Obstacles to Power Sector Reform in Twenty Indian States

Energy Research and Social Science, Forthcoming

52 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2020

See all articles by Chao-Yo Cheng

Chao-Yo Cheng

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of International Development

YuJung Julia Lee

Colorado State University, Fort Collins - Colorado State University

Galen Murray

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Yuree Noh

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Johannes Urpelainen

Johns Hopkins SAIS

Joseph Van Horn

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Date Written: August 13, 2020

Abstract

Why do power sector reform succeed and fail in democratic contexts? We conduct comparative case studies of these reforms in the largest 20 Indian states. These states have responded to India’s electricity generation, transmission, and distribution crises in different ways. Similar to conventional case studies, our research design has the virtue of allowing us to explore historical processes. However, having a large number of cases also enables us to consider multiple causal factors at the same time. Both the findings and non-findings speak to the broad debate on the possible causes of reform failure. We find support for hypotheses emphasizing electoral opportunism and the politics of interest group (organized labor, agricultural interests). In contrast, partisan cleavages do not seem to explain reform failure. These findings offer new insights into politically feasible reform strategies for India.

Keywords: economic reform, political economy, interest groups, power sector, energy policy, India

Suggested Citation

Cheng, Chao-yo and Lee, YuJung Julia and Murray, Galen and Noh, Yuree and Urpelainen, Johannes and Van Horn, Joseph, Vested Interests: Examining the Political Obstacles to Power Sector Reform in Twenty Indian States (August 13, 2020). Energy Research and Social Science, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3682758 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3682758

Chao-yo Cheng

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of International Development ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

YuJung Julia Lee

Colorado State University, Fort Collins - Colorado State University ( email )

Department of Economics
Fort Collins, CO 80253-1771
United States

Galen Murray

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) ( email )

405 Hilgard Avenue
Box 951361
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

Yuree Noh

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Johannes Urpelainen (Contact Author)

Johns Hopkins SAIS ( email )

1740 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036-1984
United States

Joseph Van Horn

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) ( email )

405 Hilgard Avenue
Box 951361
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
15
Abstract Views
118
PlumX Metrics