Journal article

The uneven expansion of electricity supply in India: The logics of clientelism, incrementalism and maximin

Alfonso Martinez Arranz, Robert Thomson, Steven Zech, Ganesh Hegde, Dharmalingam Arunachalam, Anand B Rao

ENERGY RESEARCH & SOCIAL SCIENCE | ELSEVIER | Published : 2021

Abstract

This study examines the recent massive expansion of electricity supply in India. With data from over 120,000 observations relating to households across the country in 2014 and 2019, we describe the rapid but uneven increases in hours of supply. We compare three distinct logics of public service delivery that may account for different rates of improvement in electricity supply - the logics of clientelism, incrementalism and maximin. The clientelist logic posits that state-level elected representatives target investments toward local areas where they hold small margins of support to improve their chances of re-election. According to the logic of incrementalism, policymakers focus on policies t..

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