Political regimes, corruption, and absolute child poverty in India – a multilevel statistical analysis

Shailen Nandy, Adel Daoud

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In this paper we test the relationship between Harriss´s framework of political regime types (Harriss 1999; Harriss 2005) and child poverty in India. We are testing this theory by analysing if there are any differences in statistical effect between the various regime types on absolute child poverty across the Indian states. The first focal hypothesis we want test is that (1) “Indian states that are politically dominated by higher cast and higher social classes will lead to more absolute child poverty” since the interest of the poor will less likely be represented in policy. In order to compare Harriss´s political regime hypotheses with an issue that is salient in Indian politics, we articulated two further hypotheses about corruption using data from Transparency International India. Accordingly, the second hypothesis we tested is (2) “The kind of political regime types will have a stronger importance than corruption level; yet both will lead to more absolute child poverty”. Two further hypotheses are formulated to test the moderating effect of wealth upon political regime types and perceived corruption. The third hypothesis we tested is then (3) “political regime types dominated by higher cast higher class and with more wealth (higher GDP) will lead to less poverty”, this since higher GDP will generally have alleviating effect on poverty rates (trickle-down theory). The fourth hypothesis is then (4) “more corruption will lead to more absolute child poverty the higher the level of wealth (GDP)” since there is more corruption and more wealth that potentially can be spoiled. Lastly, the study uses corruption data from both Transparency International India 2005 (henceforth TII_2005) (Centre for Media Studies 2005) and Transparency International India 2008 (TII_2008) (Centre for Media Studies 2008). The TII_2005 is mainly based on experts’ knowledge in the field in order to evaluate corruption across India, while the TII_2008 uses the poor people´s own perceived experience with corruption. Consequently, we will test the same hypotheses twice where corruption is involved. By doing that, we will also be able to compare difference between the poor people´s own experience of corruption (TII_2008) and experts’ evaluation of it (TII_2005).

Centre for Media Studies. 2005. India Corruption Study 2005: To Improve Governance. New Delhi: Transparency International India.
—. 2008. India Corruption Study - 2008 : With Special Focus on Bpl Households. New Delhi: Transparency International India
Harriss, John. 1999. "Comparing Political Regimes across Indian States: A Preliminary Essay." Economic and Political Weekly 34:3367-3377.
—. 2005. "Do Political Regimes Matter? Poverty Reduction and Regime Differences across India." in Changing Paths : International Development and the New Politics of Inclusion, edited by Peter P. Houtzager and Mick Moore. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2014
EventFISS Conference, Sigtuna, 2014 - Sweden, Sigtuna, United Kingdom
Duration: 2 Jun 20144 Jun 2014


ConferenceFISS Conference, Sigtuna, 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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