Enhancing Local Public Service Delivery: Experimental Evidence on the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in Bihar

  • Blog Post Date 31 March, 2012
  • IGC Research on India
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Abhijit Banerjee

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Esther Duflo

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGA) is among the largest social protection programmes in the world. This project proposes to answer two important questions about MNREGA, which are relevant for India, and indeed, for all developing countries which are currently implementing or planning to implement social protection programmes. The first question relates to implementation: How to make decentralised social protection programmes work in countries which have limited administrative capacity? Indeed, the lack of administrative capacity hinders public service provision in places where it is most needed. The second concerns programme impact: What are the benefits of public works programmes to households who participate and to households who do not participate in these programmes?

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