Dilemmas of Decentralization and Development: an IDSS presentation by Pranab Bardhan

Indian doctor's office

World Bank


Pranab Bardhan
Professor of the Graduate School at the Department of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley


February 26, 2013


12–1:15 p.m. PT


RAND Corporation
1776 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA

About the Program

In view of the many failures of the centralized state, decentralization has often been suggested as a way of making public service delivery more responsive and efficient. In contrast to the the fiscal federalism literature in public economics for developed countries, however, there are many institutional and political-economy factors specific to developing countries that give rise to governance dilemmas involving different kinds of trade-offs that lend some ambiguity and complexity to the outcome of decentralization.

About the Speaker

Pranab Bardhan, a Cambridge University Ph.D., has been at the University of California at Berkeley since 1977, where he is an Emeritus Professor of the Department of Economics, following teaching appointments at MIT and the Delhi School of Economics. He was the chief editor of the Journal of Development Economics for 1985-2003. He was the co-chair of the MacArthur Foundation-funded Network on the Effects of Inequality on Economic Performance for 1996-2007. He held the Distinguished Fulbright Siena Chair at the University of Siena, Italy in 2008-2009. He was the BP Centennial Professor at London School of Economics for 2010 and 2011.

Bardhan is the author of 12 books and more than 150 journal articles, and the editor of 12 other books. He has done theoretical and field studies research on rural institutions in poor countries, on political economy of development policies, and on international trade. A part of his work is in the interdisciplinary area of economics, political science, and social anthropology. His current research involves theoretical and empirical work on decentralized governance, and the political economy of development in China and India.

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