CEGA affiliated professor Gareth Nellis co-authors an article for The Quint, describing recent research suggesting that Indian municipal councillors favor long-term residents over internal migrants.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light the struggles faced by India’s vast population of migrant workers – millions of whom cross state borders each year in search of new opportunities and better livelihoods. In a new article published in the American Journal of Political Science, we investigate a crucial challenge that movers face in India: accessing basic assistance from urban politicians.
We wanted to know whether sitting municipal councillors in 28 of India’s largest cities systematically favour long-term city residents over newcomers in providing constituency services.
Getting things done through the bureaucracy can be difficult and time-consuming. Having a dispensary set up in the neighbourhood, fixing a draining problem, or acquiring an income certificate can take months. Things often move faster if a local leader gets behind the request.
But do local elected elites provide help equally to citizens who approach them? Or do they discriminate?
To find out, we posted letters from fictitious citizens to 2,933 municipal councilors across the country. Each letter asked for help with a simple problem, and asked for a callback at a local mobile number.”
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