The Political Economy of Government Responsive-Ness: Theory and Evi-Dence from India

In: Social Issues

Submitted By LauraO
Words 2422
Pages 10
1. Introduction
Extensive research has been conducted on the topic of how media circulation affects political accountability and government policy. Theory predicts that for a higher share of media receivers, political accountability and hence government expenditures increase. Besley & Burgess (2002) give additional insight into this topic by analyzing the impact of media circulation on government responsiveness to falls in food production and crop flood damage in Indian states. The authors use the extent of public food distribution and calamity relief as proxies for government responsiveness. In addition to media factors, political and economic factors are introduced as potential determinants of policies. The predictions of the theory are underlined by the results of the paper: Government responsiveness increases with a higher amount of media users within a state. Further, political factors are also relevant determinants, whereas, economic factors are of low importance.
In the following, the paper will be critically assessed within these sections. First, the theory, the propositions as well as the empirical strategy are introduced and compared to discussions in class. Second, the results of the paper are outlined. Third, the empirical strategy as well as the results will be analyzed and compared to prior research and theory. Finally, a short conclusion and outlook will be given.
2. Theory, Propositions and Empirical Strategy
The theoretical two-period model of Besley & Burgess (2002) is based on several assumptions. There are vulnerable and non-vulnerable citizens. Part of the vulnerable citizens are needy, meaning that they suffer after a shock in a certain period and that public action would improve their situation. Moreover, there are altruistic, selfish, and opportunistic incumbents. For the purpose of the study, opportunistic incumbents are most interesting…...

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