Politics and Development in India: A micro-level study of who gets what, when, and how (PoDevInd)

2013 - 2017 (Completed) Project number: 225905/H30
Research Project
The primary objective of the project is to study the relationship between electoral dynamics and development in Indian villages 2001-2011.

Despite a dramatic growth in development in India at the aggregate level, there is great variation in development outcomes at the local level. The delivery of public goods are hampered by corruption and inefficiency, and in some villages nothing is done, while in others development projects are implemented as planned. This variation in implementation, we argue, can be attributed to politicians and bureaucrats prioritizing some areas over others. It is often assumed that politicians in India work more for co-ethnics.

We argue that the uneven public goods delivery is driven by political incentives, and that politicians are probably working harder for villages that voted for them, that have a high turnout, or are competitive. By combining the data efforts of the three collaborating partners from the USA, India and Norway, we intend to test these claims on unique village-level data from across India. The findings will contribute to discussions about the variation in development across India and about what motivates political actors.

Watch the book launch seminar for Francesca Jensenius' 2017 publication Social Justice through Inclusion - The Consequences of Electoral Quotas in India:


Research Council of Norway

Funding program




Nils Klim Prize awarded to NUPI researcher

March 13, 2018

"An outstanding political scientist and ideally suited as a role model for younger researchers." This is how the jury characterizes this year’s Nils Klim Prize laureate, Francesca R. Jensenius.

Bildet viser Indias parlamentspresident i Lok Sahba, Meira Kumar

Quotas – what to expect?

June 20, 2017

At one level, the effects of quotas may prove to be less impressive than many have hoped – or even feared. But at another, the consequences may be greater than we have been realized.



Kinship in Indian Politics: Dynasties, nepotism and imagined families

  • Francesca R. Jensenius
While kinship is among the basic organizing principles of all human life, its role in and implications for international politics and relations have been ...
Publication : MONOGRAFI

Social Justice through Inclusion: The Consequences of Electoral Quotas in India

  • Francesca R. Jensenius
Across the world, governments design and implement policies with the explicit goal of promoting social justice. But can such institutions change entrenched ...
Publication : ARTIKKEL_POP
Publication : ARTIKKEL

Competing inequalities? On the intersection of gender and ethnicity in candidate nominations in Indian elections

  • Francesca R. Jensenius
Quotas for women and ethnic minorities are implemented to increase diversity in political institutions, but, as they usually target only one group at ...
Publication : ARTIKKEL

Development from representation? A study of quotas for the scheduled castes in India

  • Francesca R. Jensenius
This paper estimates the constituency-level development effects of quotas for the Scheduled Castes (SCs) in India, using a unique dataset of development ...
Publication : ARTIKKEL

Fragmentation and decline in India's state assemblies: A review, 1967-2007

  • Francesca R. Jensenius
Tracing activity in 15 Indian state assemblies from 1967 to 2007, we find that overall legislative activity declined but there was also considerable variation ...
Publication : ARTIKKEL
Publication : ARTIKKEL

Project Manager

Francesca R. Jensenius

Research Professor (part time)

Governance  International economics  Asia  Development policy

Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi India

Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley, USA