Researching the politics of development



The political economy of implementing the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in India

Working paper 15

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Abhiroop Mukhopadhyay


This paper focuses on four selected questions. (1) How does local political competition and the characteristics of the elected officials matter for the implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS)? (2) Is there local capture of the benefits from the scheme? (3) What role does reservation for caste and gender in political positions play in the implementation of the scheme. (4) Do center-state linkages have a role to play in how NREGS is implemented across states? To answer these questions, this paper reviews the relevant literature and finds avenues for future research. It provides some strategies to do empirical work on the four issues highlighted. The paper also provides evidence on some indicators of NREGS implementation across states and suggests that there may be some link between centre-state alignment and NREGS implementation.